*European Greens and Vandana Shiva launch joint petition on seed legislation *
Brussels- October 2 , 2013. Today, on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday the European Greens together with Navdanya, the organization of Indian activist and scientist Vandana Shiva launch a petition on the new legislative proposal of the European Commission on the production and commercialization of seeds.
The proposal by the EC was launched in May and is now going through the legislative process in the European Parliament. Via the website www.seedfreedom.eu the Greens and Navdanya want to mobilize citizens to ask for a radical change of this proposed legislation. The central message of the website is that this new European legislation on the ‘Marketing of seeds’ is a threat to Food Security and Democracy.
A crucial problem is that a handful of global seed companies are monopolising the market: three quarters of the seeds marketed and used by farmers are controlled by only a few multinational companies. European legislation has increasingly restricted access to seeds in past decades, since industrial agriculture has become the dominant model of farming. Only seed varieties which fit to this model may be marketed in the EU. They must pass complicated and costly tests and registration procedures and their cultivation depends on chemicals. This legislation has dramatically reduced the diversity of seed varieties on the market and this will become a dramatic threat to our food security.
That is why the Greens and Navdanya call upon citizens to make their voice heard and reject the current EC proposal.
Shiva said: „We are reminded that in the spirit of Gandhi, civil disobedience is necessary, when laws undermine our rights, depriving us of our common goods. Seeds are such a common good. They are a gift of nature and the result of centuries of hard work of farmers around the planet, who have selected, conserved and bred seeds. They are the source of life and the first link in our food chain. „