Welcome to "Save Our Seeds"

‘Save Our Seeds’ (SOS) is a European initiative in favor of the purity of seeds against genetically modified organisms (GMO). The initiative was created in 2002 by the Foundation on Future Farming and since then advocates no tolerance for contamination of seeds by GMOs.

From this initiative hundreds of organizations and some thousand citizens of the EU have become affiliated with Save Our Seeds’ many activities.  The projects combine the genetic engineering controversy and sustainable land and food sovereignty with an international perspective. 

SOS organizes the yearly GMO Free Regions conference, leads the Bantam Mais action and is co-publisher of the Informationsdienst Gentechnik (GE Info Service). SOS was involved in the creation of the Weltagrarbericht (World Agriculture Report) and has shared its findings all over Germany. Together with many other organiza- tions, SOS is responsible for the campaign “Meine Land- wirtschaft – Unsere Wahl” (My Agriculture, Our Choice), engaged with the realignment of European agricultural policy after 2013.

With its campaigns and initiatives, SOS networks with different organizations, companies, politicians, scien- tists, farmers, and interested citizens; and wishes to lead a productive debate towards sustainable change.  


No Patents on Plants and Animals!

Freedom for Tomato and Broccoli (No patents on seeds)
Freedom for Tomato and Broccoli (No patents on seeds)

21.05.2015 Initiative “no patents on seed” call to “Act now – save the future of our food!”

The signatories  call for an immediate amendment of the Implementing Regulation to the European Patent Convention and for a change in European Patent law to finally exclude all breeding processes and breeding material, plant and animal characteristics, gene sequences, plants and animals, as well as food derived thereof from patentability.  [more]


International News

2015-05-22 |

Laws regulating seeds in South Africa to entrench hunger and inequality

African Centre for Biodiversity African Centre for Biodiversity

Press Release from the Food Sovereignty Campaign

On 15 May South Africa’s Portfolio Committee on Agriculture held public hearings on two Bills that protect and regulate the commercial seed industry; the Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) Bill and the Plant Improvement Bill. The PBR Bill aims to stimulate innovation in plant breeding by awarding extremely strong intellectual property rights to breeders and the Plant Improvement Bill allows only certified seed to be sold on the commercial market. Several NGOs and smallholder farmers made submissions to the committee, saying that the laws will entrench inequality and deepen the hunger crisis in the country because the Bills are oblivious to seed systems that support smallholder farmers and ecological forms of farming. These laws do not recognise or protect farmer-managed seed systems or agricultural biodiversity but undermine the rights of farmers, including their right to re-use, exchange and sell farm-saved seeds.

South Africa is one of the few African countries that is Party to the 1978 International Union for Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV) - an intergovernmental organization that was established to reward breeders for their new plant varieties by granting intellectual property rights (IPRs) on the basis of a set of clearly defined principles. This has resulted in highly industrialised seed sectors where commercial breeders have strong protection, while farmers are restricted from sharing or selling seed that is protected under this regime. The South African PBR Bill (like its current Act), is based on UPOV 1991 and not UPOV 1978. UPOV 1991 has been slammed world-wide for giving private breeders excessive protection; criticisms include that UPOV 1991 protects private breeders IPRs but does not protect farmers’ varieties from misappropriation; that it promotes genetically uniform seed suited to industrial chemical-dependent agricultural systems that are environmentally harmful, that it does not exempt crops that are important for food security from exclusive property rights and critically, that it outlaws the age-old practice of exchanging seed which has resulted in the agricultural diversity that we know today. Seed exchange also provides safety nets amongst communities for food sovereignty. The second Bill, the Plant Improvement Bill, could also outlaw the sale or exchange of seed that does not meet stringent and higly industralised certification standards set out in the Bill, and these standards apply to commercial seed, not farmers’ varieties or seed appropriate for ecological agriculture. This creates a deeply troubling and inequitable situation where only certified corporate seed is allowed on the market.

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