Sunday, 7 October 2012

Seeds for the Future

Ah, the lovely smells of Autumn!  Leaves of golden yellow, fields of stubble, the harvest bounty brought home - such a time of plenty.  Time to thank, appreciate, and then put the gardening tools to sleep for a winter's rest. 

Hopefulness comes of this time.  Time to think  - well that patch of garden space really needs to rest, or...that section of the garden would be great for runner beans next year.  Ah, dreaming of next year's planting season.

I am not a seed harvester, however perhaps you could be.  I remember Baba saving tomatos for their seeds, and harvesting beans to dry some for next year's seeds.  This involved hopefulness, planning, dreams for a better tomorrow.

The bad news, however, is that there are major seed-developing companies that are already introducing "terminator technologies" into Canada so that every time you want to grow a grain or vegetable or a flower, you will have to purchase new seeds.  These seeds will produce, but will not reproduce!!!  The seed will be sterile!!!

This scares me a lot.  When you consider the accumulated agricultural wisdom of our Canadian prairie producers, and place that against the HOLODOMOR experiences of Ukrainians in the last century, our food security is a huge issue!!  Who controls our food security??

The National Council of Women of Canada (www.ncwc.ca) , and the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada (www.uwac-national.ca) have asked the government of Canada to ban terminator seeds in Canada.  In the upcoming session of Parliament, Alex Atamanenko, NDP MP for BC Southern Interior, has sponsored a private member's bill - Bill C-434 Terminator Seeds Ban.  This is "an act to prohibit the planting, cultivation, release, sale and importation of seeds incorporating or altered by variety-genetics use restriction technologies (V-GURTS) also called "Terminator Technologies". 

Normally private members bills have little chance of passing, however you can help this one pass but flooding your MP's office with phone calls, letters and emails in support of this bill.  Be assured that the grain companies will be lobbying very strongly against this Bill.

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