Thursday, February 19, 2009

Who wants to control the world seed supply and why ?

New Delhi, Feb 1 Several agitating farmers' organisations and trade unions

today announced February 26 as a day of countrywide agitation with a march
to parliament followed by a "Beej Satyagraha" to oppose the new
'anti-people' patent law.

Flaying the new law which came into effect from January 1, Dr Vandana Shiva,
the Director of Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology
said, ''it sneaked in through an ordinance dated December 26 last year and
it totally introduces seed totalitarianism at the hands of the big

"It jeopardises every farmer of this country who has for centuries used a
part of his crop as seed and exchanged it as the new law does not
differentiate that seed with a genetically modified one. In other words, the
farmer will have no right to sow his own seed on his own land as some trait
of his seed could be a patented one for which he can be sued," she said.

Announcing the decision to launch a "Beej Satyagraha" on Baisakhi day, the
harvest festival, which falls on April 13, Ms Shiva said, "how can they talk
of a re-enactment of the Dandi march in Sabarmati and in the same breadth
take away from the farmer his right to his own seed."

Talking of the other aspects she said, "there are no clear definitions on
several issues in the ordinance. The pharma and the software industry are
the two other areas which will be badly hit which is why we will fight it
tooth and nail. If we cannot prevent the parliament passing the bill which
will be introduced this budget session we will openly defy it."

Briefing mediapersons at the conclusion of the farmers¹ conclave, Dr Shiva
said: "The Patent Ordinance has proposed patent monopolies on seeds, genes
and markers. This will lead to farmers' paying royalties to seed companies.
Further, the proposed amendments to the Seeds Act, like compulsory
registration, will prevent farmers from using farm-saved seeds. We have
decided to oppose all these measures and boycott multinational companies
producing agro-chemicals and seeds, including the genetically modified
ones." Regarding agitation against the proposed water sector reforms, she
said the focal areas will be Bundelkhand and Doab.

Bundelkhand is threatened by the Ken-Betwa river link financed by the World
Bank and MP Water Sector Reform Project. The fertile plains of Doab are
threatened by diversion of Ganga water to Delhi. The agitation against water
sector reforms will begin on February 14. On that day, farmers will also
serve notices of non-cooperation to the government, she said.

Ram Kalspurkar of Vidharbha Organic Farmers' Association alleged that
sterile seeds sold by companies have led to suicides by farmers. He also
complained about proliferation of a virus called CaMV which has damaged the

Why would there a monopoly on seeds,when people have been planting and reaping and replanting from harvested stock for generations. Are we expecting anything soon to happen that will make food a matter of life and death.
And why are seeds being genetically modify so as to prevent replanting from reaped crops?
Why are seeds being patented by big companies and modified?
Why do we have highly qualified people hunting seeds all over the world.
Why is there a seed bank in the middle of no where under ice. ? Why are there arm guards patrolling day and night in this seed Vault?

Why are these questions so Important
Brief synopses

Our planet is heating up and one of the first casualties will be the crops that supply our food. Scientists are working overtime to find solutions including going back to the ancestral origins of our staple foods.

Seed Hunter will take you on a remarkable journey from the drought ravaged farms of Australia, to the heart of the Middle East, to the mountains of Tajikistan where charismatic Australian scientist Dr Ken Street – a real life version of Indiana Jones - and his team of ‘gene detectives’ hunt for plant genes that will help our food withstand the impact of 21st century global warming.

Along the way we meet farmers around the world who are struggling to grow crops in a climate that’s gone haywire, as well as scientists working at the front line of gene technology to save tomorrow’s food. At journey’s end, deep in the Arctic Circle, Ken deposits his bounty of seed in the newly constructed seed bank known as the ‘doomsday vault.’

Photos in this blog are the people who hunt seeds,and the interior of the seed vault.

a picture equals a thousand words a video speaks a million words,see the abbreviated version of a 60 minutes video on the seed vault.

other source on the topic


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