Statement on Seed Freedom Victory in Europe – Press Release

Brussels, 13 February 2014 – There is good news from Europe. Both the Environment committee and Agriculture committee of the European parliament have rejected the Seed Law proposed by the European commission.
This is a victory for biodiversity, for farmers and gardeners, for citizens, for democracy, and for Seed Freedom.

Last year after the group of experts of the International Commission on the future of food/Navdanya launched the Law of the Seed at Terra Futura in Florence, we started to work with European Parliament to build a campaign to stop the Seed Monopoly Law based on uniformity from being passed.

17 May 2013, Florence, Italy: Law of the Seed Launch Event

Law of the Seed – download

18 September 2013, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium: The Law of The Seed Lecture & Draft EU Seed Legislation Press Conference

25 September 2013, EU seed regulation: Inspired by Vandana Shiva’s visit Europe should take the lead in shifting the flawed logic of seed laws

2 October 2013
European Greens and Navdanya International launch a Joint Declaration on Seed Legislation

24 November 2013, Vienna, Austria: Seed Declaration of Vienna

22 January 2014, Brussels, Belgium: EU Seed policy and legislation – Challenges for Producers, Consumers and Citizens: Who will own the seeds
Conference Organized by Demeter International in cooperation with: Arche Noah, ECO PB , IFOAM EU Group, Kultursaat e.V. (tbc), Network Economy Group, SaatGut e.V. (tbc), Semences Paysannes

29 January 2014, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium:
Green MEPs Press conference: Seed diversity and food security threatened by an overly concentrated EU seed market

European Citizens’ Declaration for SEED FREEDOM AND FOOD DEMOCRACY

New European legislation on the ‘Marketing of seeds’ is a threat to Food Security and Democracy

Join the European Citizens’ Declaration for SEED FREEDOM

This Citizens’ Declaration was launched on the 2nd October 2013 – Gandhi’s Birth Anniversary.
We are reminded that in the spirit of Gandhi, civil disobedience is necessary, when unjust laws undermine our common goods.

Seeds are a common good. They are a gift of nature and the result of centuries of hard work of farmers around the planet who have selected, conserved and bred seeds. They are the source of life and the first link in our food chain.

This common good is in danger. European legislation has been increasingly restricting access to seeds in the past decades, with industrial agriculture becoming the dominant model of farming. Only seed varieties which fit this model may be marketed in the EU. They must pass complicated and costly tests and registration procedures and their cultivation depends on chemicals. This legislation has dramatically reduced diversity of seed varieties which is seriously threatening our food security. Seeds are no longer in the hands of farmers and gardeners. A handful of global seed companies are controlling and monopolizing the market: The same six multinationals control 75% of all private sector plant breeding research; 60% of the commercial seed market and 76% of global agrochemical sales. (ETC Group).

The new legislative proposal of the European Commission is making things worse. It is further restricting and reducing agro-biodiversity and the free access to seeds for farmers and citizens, and encourages multinational seed companies to claim exclusive rights on the marketing of seeds. On the other hand seeds which carry a broad variety of pest resistance and the ability to adapt to climate change are increasingly excluded from the market or restricted to so called niche markets. This legislation not only affects Europe but the entire planet.

We firmly reject this seed monopoly law. At a time when the UN recognizes that the future of food is agro-ecological, local and diverse, the European Commission proposal will criminalize the growing and vibrant alternatives based on seed freedom and food democracy. At a time when consumers are making a choice for local, ecological, healthy, tasty, nutritious and chemical-free and GMO-free food, the proposed EU seed law is robbing consumers of their food freedom. 72% of the world’s food comes from small farms – We are not a niche – We are the future!

Make your voice heard!

Sign this appeal to:
Reject the European Commission “Seed Monopoly Law” and Demand your right to vibrant, healthy, chemical-free and GMO-free seeds and food.
In the spirit of Gandhi, call for civil disobedience against unjust seed laws and declare:

We will not recognise any law that illegitimately makes seed the exclusive private property of corporations, contradicts the overall objective of conservation and enrichment of diversity strengthens a failed system of industrial agriculture, and ignores vibrant and healthy alternatives creating sustainable communities and food security in all regions of the world.

“As long as the superstition remains that unjust laws must be obeyed, so long will slavery exist”. Mahatma Gandhi

Sign here:

While the global seed industry – which is the former war industry, the agrichemical industry, the Biotech industry – has been imposing laws based on uniformity and agrichemical inputs, the Seed Freedom movement has grown from the ecological and scientific awareness that diversity, resilience, quality are the basis of nature’s evolution, and that farmers breeding, and participatory and evolutionary breeding better suited for organic farming in times of climate chaos.

A false claim has been made that food security is based on intensive agrichemical inputs, uniformity and industrial monocultures. The reality is that biodiversity intensive, ecological systems produce more food.

To celebrate this victory for Seed Freedom, for diversity and farmers’ rights, to renew our commitment to an agriculture based on diversity, free of poisons and GMOs, we are organising a Seed Solidarity Caravan through the biodiversity rich Mediterranean countries of Europe.

English: International Solidarity Caravan for Seeds

Greek: Διεθνές Καραβάνι Αλληλεγγύης για τους Σπόρους

French: Caravane Internationale de Solidarite pour les Semences

Spanish: Caravana Solidaria Internacional por las Semillas

We invite you to join the celebration of our seeds and biodiversity. Join the journey for Seed Freedom.

Vandana Shiva

The Law of the Seed