May 24, 2013
Stop Corporate Control Over Our Seeds
Urgent Action Alert - Deadline Thursday May 23, 2013
The National Farmers Union asks you to submit your letter to stop the significant regulatory changes to Seed Variety Registration in Canada. These changes will:
- Permit companies to take seed varieties off the market whenever they like, which will increasingly force farmers to use only varieties subject to royalties under the Plant Breeders Rights Act or varieties with gene patents.
- Empower companies to introduce new varieties of soybeans and forage crops – including alfalfa – that have not been field-tested for merit and which therefore may not provide any benefit to farmers.
- Allow seed companies to transfer to farmers’ shoulders all risks of poor seed/crop performance when planting varieties that have not been field-tested by independent third parties.
- Transfer decision-making about which new varieties are introduced, and when, from a transparent, publicly accountable process based on expert advice offered by Recommending Committees to a behind-closed-door process controlled by private seed companies.
- Letting companies de-register varieties will permit companies to unilaterally stop farmers from accessing and using perfectly good varieties developed through long-term collaboration among farmers, public plant breeders and international seed collections.