Control of our food system

Fedco Seeds was mentioned as a source for seeds in a posting. After reading more about them in "The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved" by Sandor Ellix Katz, I want to second the recommendation, based on their moral stand against Monsanto. If for no other reason, than that I don't see a lot of morality in business these days and, I would like to encourage it where it shows itself. Secondly Fedco Seed is an employee owned business, so everyone there is painfully aware of the bottom line, and they still dumped Monsanto.
I mean, how crazy do you have to be, to create a "Round Up Ready" plant that allows for the greater spreading of toxic chemicals? There are already reports of herbicide resistant weeds and, when the terminator gene is allowed to spread, we may all be dead meat walking.
The following is an excerpt from pages 44 and 45.
Dependence upon ever-growing corporate entities for something as basic as seed is not pretty. Alfonso Romo Garza, the billionaire who masterminded the consolidation of Seminis prior to its sale to Monsanto, bragged to the Wall Street Journal: Seeds are software. And we have the seeds.(1) That would now make Monsanto the Microsoft of food. Do we really want to be that dependent on a single corporation for our operating system"?
Monsanto and the nine next largest seed corporations control more than half of the world's commercial seed supply.(2) What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies," explains Robb Fraley, Monsanto's executive vice president and chief technology officer, it's really a consolidation of the entire food chain.(3) Fedco decided to drop Monsanto's seeds and announced in its 2006 catalog that the company was getting off the seed grid. . . .We do so because Monsanto epitomizes the road down which we no longer choose to go ... the road that leads to our complete surrender of control of our seed and therefore of control of our food system."
Expansion of the legal concept of intellectual property underlies corporate control of seeds. Intellectual property law deals with proprietary interests in innovations such as inventions, as well as abstractions such as words, ideas, sounds, and images. Over the past few decades, laws around the world have been rewritten to protect the intellectual property rights of plant breeders, allowing breeds to be patented and constraining ways in which farmers may sell, trade, give away, and even plant saved seeds. Quite clearly a monopolistic patent regime cannot be established as long as farmers have the alternative of their own zero cost, reliable, time-tested, high-value seeds of their traditional varieties of indigenous agro-biodiversity," points out Vandana Shiva.(4) What has traditionally been viewed as a natural right-saving seed as an integral element of local agricultural practice-is being transformed by globalizing corporate interests into a legally granted (or denied) privilege.
In order to prevent farmers from cheating" the patent holders by saving and replanting seed, the seed industry, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed what is known as terminator" technology, seeds that generate self-sterilizing plants. The disclosure of this technology in 1998 created an international furor. For now, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity has imposed an international moratorium on terminator technology, but it has been repeatedly challenged.(5) The technology exists, and those who stand to profit from it are likely to persist.
Biotechnology essentially aims to eliminate sexuality as a means of passing on genetic material," contends Peter Lamborn Wilson. Capital has now reached the theoretical stage of commodifying the life process itself. The principle of intellectual ownership of nature-the final enclosure-seems to have become the basis for the global world order and its economy.(6)
Increasingly, national governments and other, even less accountable, international regulatory institutions have been imposing plant-breed protection laws that deny the traditional right to perpetuate seed. . .
footnotes
1. Quoted in Nabhan, Coming Home to Eat, 149.
2. ETC Group, "Global Seed Industry Concentration-2005," Communique 90 (September/October 2005), www.etcgroup.org/article.asp ?newsidR4.
3. Heike Ferrie, "Schmeiser vs. Monsanto," http://percyschmeiser.com/Ferrie.htm ..
4. Vandana Shiva, "The Indian Seed Act and Patent Act: Sowing the Seeds of Dictatorship" (February 14, 2005), Znet, www.zmag.org/content/prinLarticle. cfn'i?itemIDr49&sectionIDV.
5. ETC Group, "Canadian Government to Unleash Terminator Bombshell at UN Meeting: All-out Push for Commercialisation of Sterile Seed Technology" (February 7, 2005), www.etcgroup.org/article.asppnewsids498
6. Wilson, "Avant Gardening," 17.
7. Stephen Leahy, "Canada: Monsanto Victory Plants Seed of Privatisation" (October 5, 2004), Inter Press Service, http://ipsnews.net/interna.asp ?idnews%740.
8. Shiva, "The Indian Seed Act and Patent Act: Sowing the Seeds of Dictatorship."
9. Coalition Against Biopiracy, "Captain Hook Awards for Biopiracy 2006," www.captainhookawards.org/winners/2006_pirates, accessed June 21, 2006.
10. ETC Group, "Whatever Happened to the Enola Bean Patent Challenge?" (December 21, 2005), www.etcgroup.org/documents/GenotypeEnola05.pdf .
Now I'm waiting on the library to take a closer look at "Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners" by Suzanne Ashworth and Kent Whealy. There may be no other choice, except for the "terminator" gene.
(Amazon.com product link shortened) 424581/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid00082197&sr=1-1
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Thanks for the heads up! Looks like victory gardens might come back . Not only is the food good but dirty hands and sweat in the sun is a good thing. People in sterile environs seem to need to get out and down. Dancing in the garden if you will allow.
http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/269033.aspx deals with Vitamin D.
Sci.med.cardiology has a few posts dealing with Vitamin D.
Bill
PS Billy mentioned in a recent post that we need conflicts to get useful info. I Agree.
William Black a hero of mine said "No progress without contraries."
Bill
--

Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
ICAO = KMIV Millvile Weather
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article
info. I Agree.

William Blake DUH!
--

Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
ICAO = KMIV Millvile Weather
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In article

Uh, OK but I get to lead;-)
--

Billy

Bush & Cheney, Behind Bars
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Billy wrote:

Very late response... Great post. I will save this. This is something I am increasingly pondering and want to start tackling after my upcoming move (after daughter's graduation in June 2009). Thanks!
--
Jean B.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.