On behalf of the Global Campaign for Seed Freedom and Navdanya, please also find below a message from Vandana Shiva in support of the March against Monsanto on 25th May, 2013.
Seed is the essence of life. It is also the first link in the food system.
Control over seed is control over food.
Control over seed is today being shaped by new laws that are being written by the very corporations that are destroying the diversity of seed and the freedom of our food. The biggest player in the control over seed is Monsanto. Monsanto started to write laws related to seed in 1980s which resulted in the TRIPS agreement of WTO. This international law opened the flood gates to patent and own seed. It could be called the first Monsanto Protection Act drafted by Monsanto to protect its illegitimate and unethical patent monopolies on seed. Monsanto recently drafted the US Monsanto Protection Act to guarantee to itself legal immunity in the context of any court ruling.
In India, the Monsanto Protection act takes the form of the biotechnology regulatory act aimed at destroying existing laws that regulate GMOs and biotechnology. World-wide Monsanto protection acts are being written to guarantee that Monsanto has a monopoly on seed by destroying all alternatives through criminalizing diversity of seed and saving and sharing of seed.
An example is the newly proposed EC seed legislation imposing compulsory registration of all seeds, including those used by organic farmers and gardeners.
Similar legislation is being introduced across the world. The European court of Justice ruling in the Kokopelli case is an indication of how, even courts are being influenced by corporate monopolies and the paradigm of industrial agriculture. The recent US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Monsanto versus Bowman is a wake-up call for citizens to assess the consequences of patents on seed.
Whether it is patent laws or seed laws, these violate the real law of the Seed which is based on diversity renewability, multiplication, exchange and resilience.
In 2012 Navdanya initiated the Global Citizens Alliances for Seed Freedom to defend
the freedom of seed and the freedom of farmers and gardeners to freely save and exchange seed and to be free of GMOs and seed monopolies.
On 17th of May at Terra Futura in Florence, Navdanya presented the Law of the Seed based on scientific and legal principals that protect diversity and democracy.
The Law of The Seed puts at its centre Seed Freedom – the freedom of the seed, of farmers, gardeners and all citizens – in place of the illegitimate freedom of corporations to claim the genetic wealth of the planet as their invention and property, while criminalizing citizen freedoms.
We invite you to contribute to a global report on Monsanto's empire and the worldwide Monsanto Protection Acts threatening our seed sovereignty and food sovereignty. We hope you could send us 2-5 pages identifying in your respective countries unjust seed laws and “Monsanto Protection Acts” related to patents, biotechnology and bio-safety and seed laws criminalizing farmers' varieties so that we can launch it together during the fortnight for Seed Freedom from 2nd October to 16th October 2013.
www.navdanya.org, www.seedfreedom.in, www.navdanyainternational.it