Originally published January 28 2015
Seed exchanges are illegal under the laws of many U.S. states
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) The inverted dynamic of agricultural government regulation actually protects corporate interests while hampering smaller individual efforts to produce better food.
One example was when dairy farmers were hassled via the legal system for promoting non-growth-hormone milk because Monsanto was pushing its rBGH additive. Now seeds have become an issue where only the little guys get pushed around while the GMO criminals are protected.
Small-scale seed-exchange activity is being scrutinized by various state agriculture agencies to the point of outrageous absurdity. Due to the increased concerns of citizens who want to grow some of their own food to avoid the ever increasing influx of GMO seeds and plant pollination, there are now around 300 such seed exchanges throughout the county.
Many of these free exchanges exist in local libraries, where people can borrow some seeds that can be collected and then return the same type of seeds from their veggie gardens. And as usual, small, easy targets are where the Big Brother bullies like to come in and flex their enforcement muscles.
Different states have different state laws regarding the sale of seeds, which purportedly are to protect farmers from being sold bad seeds. So they require seed samples be tested for authenticity to guarantee growth. But these small seed exchanges are not selling to commercial farmers.
Instead, they are part of a grassroots attempt to preserve heirloom and natural hybrid seeds before they are snapped up completely by the very GMO corporations that sow the seeds of destruction.
Big Brother bullies pose as protectors of agricultural integrity while picking on small library seed exchangesState departments of agriculture in Minnesota and Pennsylvania have come down on small town libraries recently by forbidding their small seed-lending operations. They claim their regulations on seed sales were violated. But those regulations were meant for large-scale seed operations to guarantee seed integrity and germination to farmers.
The cost and the amounts of seeds required for official testing are way beyond the budgets and seed capacity of libraries and others involved with the rising seed exchange activity promoted by "Seed Savers Exchange," a non-profit organization devoted to saving and sharing heirloom seeds.
The Seed Savers Exchange provided the original supply of heirloom organic seeds to the Mechanicsburg, PA, library, which received a warning letter from the Pennsylvania state Department of Agriculture (DOA) regarding their interpretation of seed laws that held the library in violation. The Duluth, MN, library was visited in person.
The official postures are the stuff of satire. Cumberland County commissioner Barbara Cross puffed, "Agri-terrorism is a very, very real scenario. Protecting and maintaining the food sources of America is an overwhelming challenge... so you've got agri-tourism on one side and agri-terrorism on the other."
Well said, Barbara. Your future in state government is assured, along with Johnny Zook, seed program supervisor at the Pennsylvania DOA, who stated, "Our concern is truth in labeling and consumer protection." American Libraries magazine added that he meant this was "to ensure that the seeds that are distributed are what they are portrayed as and viable to germinate."
Meanwhile, how many GMO seeds wind up getting mixed up in large-scale seed distribution centers where conventional and organic farmers buy seeds? It's a common occurrence for trace amounts of those seeds to be among them unpredictably.
But whenever a farmer's seed purchase is contaminated by GMO seeds, causing them to become victims of Monsanto's vindictive intellectual property patent legal assaults that are supported by our court system, where are these state DOA farmers' protectors?
They're too busy picking on small farmers and home veggie garden growers while corporations get away with destroying the food chain.
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