Save Our Seeds

Saatgut ist die Grundlage unserer Ernährung. Es steht am Anfang und am Ende eines Pflanzenlebens. Die Vielfalt und freie Zugänglichkeit dieses Menschheitserbes zu erhalten, das von Generation zu Generation weitergegeben wird, ist die Aufgabe von Save Our Seeds.

Foto:
Ursula Schulz-Dornburg

25.02.2019 |

Sign-on letter from India against IPR on seed

Shri Modiji,

The undersigned signatories representing agricultural and farmer groups from all over India are deeply concerned and writing to you to emphasise that the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations must not place any obligation on India or any other developing country with respect to intellectual property (IP) on seed and planting materials.

RCEP IS ‘WTO-PLUS’

The demand for tighter IPR comes in the form of insistence on provisions on rights in plant varieties. It is demanded by some RCEP-participating countries (RPCs) that such plant variety protection (PVP) shall provide for the IP protection of all plant genera and species by an effective PVP system, which is consistent with the 1991 Act of the International Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV 1991 Convention). This demand makes RCEP go beyond the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and is thus ‘WTO- plus’.

It is important to recall that Article 27.3(b) of the WTO TRIPS Agreement only requires WTO member countries to make available an effective sui generis system for the protection of plant varieties. Countries have complete freedom to adopt a system suitable to their agricultural condition and needs. Nothing in the RCEP negotiations should affect and limit this freedom.

20.02.2019 |

European farms could grow green and still be able to feed population

Research shows loss in yields could be offset by reorienting diets away from grain-fed meat

Europe would still be able to feed its growing population even if it switched entirely to environmentally friendly approaches such as organic farming, according to a new report from a thinktank.

A week after research revealed a steep decline in global insect populations that has been linked to the use of pesticides, the study from European thinktank IDDRI claims such chemicals can be phased out and greenhouse gas emissions radically reduced in Europe through agroecological farming, while still producing enough nutritious food for an increasing population.

Agroecology takes into account natural ecosystems and uses local knowledge to plant crops that increase the sustainability of the farming system as a whole. The IDDRI study, entitled Ten Years for Agroecology, used modelling to examine the reduction in yields that would result from a transition to such an approach.

20.02.2019 |

European farms could grow green and still be able to feed population

Research shows loss in yields could be offset by reorienting diets away from grain-fed meat

Europe would still be able to feed its growing population even if it switched entirely to environmentally friendly approaches such as organic farming, according to a new report from a thinktank.

A week after research revealed a steep decline in global insect populations that has been linked to the use of pesticides, the study from European thinktank IDDRI claims such chemicals can be phased out and greenhouse gas emissions radically reduced in Europe through agroecological farming, while still producing enough nutritious food for an increasing population.

Agroecology takes into account natural ecosystems and uses local knowledge to plant crops that increase the sustainability of the farming system as a whole. The IDDRI study, entitled Ten Years for Agroecology, used modelling to examine the reduction in yields that would result from a transition to such an approach.

19.02.2019 |

GMO Feature: Canola | Living Non-GMO

Our readers write to us almost every day to ask why they saw canola in a Non-GMO Project Verified product. There’s a fairly pervasive misconception that all canola is genetically modified, but this is not true! Non-GMO canola does exist; when you see canola in a product bearing the Butterfly, you can rest assured that it’s non-GMO canola because we test (major) high-risk crops that go into your food.

07.02.2019 |

Petition against Pioneer Hi-Bred’s application for open field trials of RNAi/gene silencing (DP-566113-9) GM maize

Say no to open field trials of new, untested gene silencing technology

Please support the African Centre of Biodiversity’s objection by signing and commenting on this petition against Pioneer Hi-Bred’s application for open field trials of RNAi /gene silencing (DP-566113-9) GM maize.

Once again, the GM industry aims to test a risky product on the SA environment and its citizens, who are being targeted as recipients of an unproven technology that promotes the private seed industry at the cost of our local, small-holder farmers and their seed and food systems.

Just as most people were going on holiday, on 21 December 2018, Pioneer Hi-Bred advertised in the Citizen newspaper its intention to make application to our GMO authorities for permission to conduct open field trials of a genetically modified (GM) maize variety, DP-056113-9, involving gene silencing techniques.

07.02.2019 |

Towards a Common Food Policy for the EU

This report argues for a Common Food Policy for the European Union: a policy setting a direction of travel for the whole food system, bringing together the various sectoral policies that affect food production, processing, distribution, and consumption, and refocusing all actions on the transition to sustainability.

It highlights the conflicting objectives of existing policies, and the potential for new synergies to be established. The report maps out a new governance architecture for food systems, and puts forward a concrete vision of the policy reform and realignment that is required in order to deliver sustainable food systems.

The Common Food Policy vision draws on the collective intelligence of more than 400 farmers, food entrepreneurs, civil society activists, scientists and policymakers consulted through a three-year process of research and deliberation.

06.02.2019 |

French, German farmers destroy crops after GMOs found in Bayer seeds

PARIS (Reuters) - Bayer said on Wednesday that farmers in France and Germany were digging up thousands of hectares of rapeseed fields after traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) banned for cultivation were found in seeds sold by the company.

GMO crops are widely grown across the world, but they remain controversial in Europe, where very few varieties are authorized for growing and some countries like France have completely outlawed their cultivation, citing environmental risks.

Checks by the French authorities during the autumn showed minute quantities of GMO seeds, estimated at less than 0.005 percent of the volume, in three batches of rapeseed seeds sold under the Dekalb brand, Catherine Lamboley, Bayer’s chief operating officer for France, said.

Dekalb was previously a Monsanto brand before the U.S. company was taken over by Bayer last year.

06.02.2019 |

Ethiopia Gets Its Teff Back

Cape Town — The Ethiopian government is celebrating a major victory in a long-running dispute over who owns the patent for products made from teff - an ancient grain that forms the basis of Ethiopia's staple food, injera.

Fitsum Arega, an Ethiopian diplomat who is the current Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States has confirmed the news in a tweet, celebrating the 'good news'.

"Thank you all. I just learned that The Court of The Hague ruled against the Teff patent holder. This is great news. I hope we can learn from this that our national assets must be protected by Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia," Arega, who's also a former director general of the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Chief of Staff of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia tweeted.

04.02.2019 |

US poultry producer turns to non-GMO feed

To launch a GMO-free product line with US-grown grain, Springer Mountain Farms first had to work with feed crop producers to establish a feed ingredient supply chain.

31.01.2019 |

After years of deadlock and political nightmares, are we finally ready to change the discussion on GMOs?

What care ethics can bring to the conversation

Today, the European Parliament backed four objections against the authorisation for import of new GM plants into the EU (two maize, one oil seed rape and a cotton), bringing the total number of such objections to 31 in just over three years. None of these 31 GMOs opposed by the European Parliament received a political backing from Member states. Nevertheless, the European Commission decided to override this opposition and to authorize 24 of them. These GM plants are mainly imported from North and South America and are used as animal feed.

In this article, we could discuss the characteristics of these four new GMOs and explain, for example, how some are tolerant to glufosinate, a dangerous herbicide, toxic for reproduction, and banned in the EU - but this would only be a repetition of so many articles that we have published over these last 3 years.

Why and how did we end up in this political stand-off? How did we come to such a deep misunderstanding between a majority of EU citizens, who are opposed to this technology in their food and fields, and the agro-chemical industry seemingly usually supported by the EU Commission?

Wir bedanken uns ganz herzlich bei allen Spenderinnen und Spendern!

Im Mai 2019 fand in Bern ein interdisziplinäres Symposium über die wissenschaftlichen, ethischen, sozio-ökonomischen und regulatorischen Aspekte von Gene Drives statt. Zudem wurde ein 350 Seiten starker Bericht zu der neuen Technologie prsäentiert.

Bei unserer Mitmach-Aktion "Samba für die Vielfalt" auf der Wir haben Agrarindustrie satt Demo
am 19.01.2019 tanzten wir für eine gentechnikfreie und vielfältige Landwirtschaft.

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