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Creating a People’s Seed Movement

By: Rebecca Spector, West Coast director and Global Seed Network project director

April 25, 2017
Center for Food Safety

CFS Launches Global Seed Network to Preserve, Protect, and Grow Seed Sovereignty and Food Security

The U.S. has lost 93 percent of its fruit and vegetable seed diversity in the last 80 years and, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more than three-quarters of global agricultural crop diversity has been lost due to seed consolidation and industrial agriculture practices. This corporate control of seed has not only decreased diversity, it has also led to worldwide seed price increases, driving millions of farmers out of business.

That’s why Center for Food Safety is celebrating International Seeds Day with the launch of our free, peer-to-peer online network for people to share rare and heirloom seeds. The Global Seed Network (GSN) will empower farmers and home gardeners alike to sustain diverse seed and plant varieties in the face of corporate control of the food supply and a changing climate.

The GSN allows users to create a profile and search for seeds based on climate region, plant variety, location, or specific crop traits. The site also includes a range of resources like detailed instructions on how to save seeds, announcements about local seed sharing events, a school curriculum, and an online community forum for users to exchange ideas. 

Seed diversity is indispensable to food security, food sovereignty, adapting to a changing climate, and preserving cultural and ancestral knowledge. However, right now the vast majority of seeds in the U.S. are controlled by a handful of chemical corporations – including Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, DuPont, and Syngenta – who now own more than 60 percent of the world’s seed supply. These corporations have turned seeds into a corporate commodity. They are rapidly engineering, patenting, and controlling seeds, often to the detriment of farmers’ economic security, food safety, and environmental sustainability. What’s worse is that these same companies also manufacture pesticides and herbicides such as RoundUp, and in turn genetically engineer seeds to withstand high doses of these same chemicals. This has led to an increase in toxic pesticide use, threatened the livelihoods of family farmers, caused the widespread killing of wildlife and pollinators, and endangered the global supply of seeds that can withstand changing weather conditions and climates.

Even more concerning, these same companies are now planning corporate mergers, creating an even greater monopoly in the seed and agrichemical industry.

Saving, growing, and sharing seeds is critical to ensuring food security for future generations. That’s why we created the Global Seed Network – to connect and unite seed savers and breeders to protect seed sovereignty and biodiversity.

Now we need your help. Celebrate International Seeds Day with CFS by joining and helping us grow the Global Seed Network to take back control of the world’s seed diversity and our food supply. The time is now to reclaim our seeds and create a people’s seed movement!

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