Ancient agricultural traditions like seed saving could replace disastrous GMO practices

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: seed saving, agriculture, ancient history

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(NaturalNews) Practically everything we have all been told about the supposed benefits of biotechnology is false, at least as far as its necessity and usefulness in agriculture is concerned. As it turns out, traditional methods of agriculture, which include things like seed saving, seed sharing, selective breeding, and permaculture, are all far more viable and sustaining for human life on this planet than anything Monsanto has to offer in the way of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

To think that forcing farmers to buy new "terminator" seeds and crop chemicals every year from private corporations will provide any sort of long-term security for the food supply is naive at best. The biotechnology model dictates that corporations control the price, availability, and performance of seeds and crop chemicals, both of which are confined to restrictive patents that prevent farmers from taking true ownership of the foods they grow.

Seed saving, which is prohibited for GMOs, is absolutely vital for food sovereignty

Long before GMO crop systems were ever even a thought in the minds of agribusiness opportunists, farmers relied on nature to reproduce new seeds for them for free. By growing a variety of different crops within the same fields, as well as regularly rotating them, farmers also utilized natural growing methods that promote soil health without the need for artificial fertilizers and other expensive chemicals.

Since every growing region of the world has its own unique combination of climate conditions, native bug species, native plant and weed species, and soil conditions, farmers, not corporations, are best equipped to maintain independent control over the growing process, which includes saving and distributing seeds. And it is the many years of learning and adapting to the distinct ecological balance in a particular area that continues to allow farmers to develop the most effective and efficient ways to grow food.

Biotechnology threatens existence of food supplies worldwide

But biotechnology is destroying this heritage of cultural farming, and replacing it with a one-size-fits-all system that is controlled by private interests seeking maximum profits at any cost. And perhaps the worst part about it is that the industry is doing this by making up lies about the alleged benefits of GMOs which, contrary to popular belief, do not perform better than traditional crops at producing higher yields.

"It is a myth that mechanized, chemical, GMO agriculture maximizes yield per hectare," writes Charles Eisenstein for the U.K.'s Guardian. "Numerous studies show that when organic agriculture is practiced well, it can bring double or triple the yields of conventional techniques. With intensive intercropping on mixed permaculture farms, yields can be higher still."

Unlike GMO crop systems, traditional growing systems are essentially fluid, as the variables of input often have to adapt and change. As Eisenstein puts it, traditional farmers learn to "co-evolve" with the land over many generations, which creates a lasting legacy of deep understanding about how the natural world works, and how mankind can successfully share its bounty without destroying it in the process.

Traditional growing methods, many of which are openly embraced today throughout Russia (, are undoubtedly proving to be the most effective way to maximize crop yields; create food independence and sovereignty; and ensure a healthy, clean food supply.

"Western-style agriculture faces a mounting crisis that is insurmountable through the usual application of more control-based technology," adds Eisenstein. "This crisis calls us toward more ecological farming methods that draw from the world's ancient agricultural traditions ... [which] include not only agronomic knowledge, but also social structures that allow that knowledge to evolve and circulate."

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