[permaculture] A Solution to the GMO Problem
spiralmother at gmail.com
Wed Apr 14 12:43:02 EDT 2010
>From a dear seed saver friend~
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: jamesdavid Sneed <harvestcircle at hotmail.com>
Date: Fri, Apr 9, 2010 at 12:13 PM
Subject: a solution to gmo problem
To: spiralmother at gmail.com
Cc: mary at cascadeharvest.org
To secure safe seed for our needs, we must do some very simple but powerful
FIRST, be honest with ourselves about how bad the situation is. Unless
companies test their seed for the presence of GMO material, it is very
likely they are selling us contaminated seeds. This includes small, regional
outfits that can't afford to test, but buy from "organic" seed suppliers
such as Alf Christiansen (now owned by Sakata's), and highly ethical folks
like Turtle Tree who rely on small growers in places like the Willamette and
Skagit valleys who may not be aware of local contaminating pollen sources
"hidden" by odd provisions of the Patriot Act, as well as formerly trusted
alternative outfits like Johnny's and Territorial.
The organic certifiers rarely if ever test for the presence of GMO
contamination, but should under the NOP rules. A couple of the biggest
certifiers like QAI are totally bogus, and have hidden their corporate links
with the defense department and the military industrial complex.
Johnny's was one of the earliest backers of seed patenting laws, and has
helped engineer (along with Goldman Sachs, the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill
Gates and Monsanto) the takeover of Seed Saver's Exchange and the trading
away the rights of patenting formerly open-source genetic material. They
destroyed the east coast strain of the famous land race multi-purpose pea,
Dwarf Grey Sugar Pod, for profit, turning it into a tendril-heavy,
peapod-light abomination that shocked smaller companies and gardeners who
depended on that variety. Like Territorial, Johnny's hides behind the safe
seed pledge, which is bogus since the word "knowingly" protects them from
legal and financial liability for selling contaminated seed. As long as they
don't test, they don't "know" they are selling poison.
Territorial was involved in the dismantling of the formerly wonderful
Abundant Life Seed Foundation, buying it after a suspicious fire (which
occurred after the staff refused to co-operate with the sale of the
foundations' seed bank) and turned it into just another trendy outfit for
hybrids. Territorial also ripped off several local seed breeders who thought
they were helping Tom out. He also intentionally mislabels the species
information in his catalog, so that gardeners have a hard time knowing what
is actually crossing and what is not. Then, Territorial tells customers that
the size or the color of the seed will indicate whether it is GMO tainted.
Every geneticist I talk too says that is pure BS. Which chromosome carries
the contamination is not public knowledge in most cases.
SECOND Support only those who will give you a clear statement, preferably in
writing, as to whether they test or not. Currently, I know that Seeds of
Change tests, corn, beets and chard. Despite the fact that they are now a
subsidiary of Mars Candy, which was the last candy company to sign on to
using GMO sugar beets, the last nail in the coffin so to speak. At least the
seed company is run independently.
www.WildGardenSeeds.com <http://www.wildgardenseeds.com/>, tests their beets
and chard, but have no corn. Frank and Karen, and their staff, are real
heroes in the seed movement, and willingly share accurate advice.
Baker Creek Seeds tests their corn, and Woods Prairie tests their chard.
We must have zero tolerance, and encourage the smaller local outfits to test
or to buy from tested seed. Lets try to get some grant money to help small
growers test their local seed crops. Better yet, just take up a collection,
and leave the foundations out of it.
THIRD, Go proactive. Use the phone and the emails to hound every seed
company you can think of, and get your friends to do the same. Be polite, be
knowledgeable, brief, and firm. Tell them that those who consume the food
you grow have zero tolerance for gmo contamination, and want to see a
printed document describing the test results. Take no BS for an answer. No
"I think my growers' fields are safe, remote enough" or any other BS.
If we can get thousands of gardeners and farmers to demand this, the
economic picture will get some of the folks to change. What Monsanto, Bayer
and their ilk are doing, with their lackeys at Johnny's, Territorial, Alf
Christiansen and others, is to wage war upon us...our bodies, our gardens,
our children, the soil from which our lives spring, Fight back the best way
we can. Zero Tolerance for GMO contamination.
FINALLY educate yourself and others. Because of the need for growing out
increasing amounts of seed BEFORE the 2009 sugar beet crop was planted, and
each level of production takes two years as beets and chard are biennial
crops, it is likely the first contamination occurred six to ten years ago.
There are no easy answers, no easy way to rely on a list or on a certifier's
word in this case. The enemy has attacked our seed on so many levels.
Zero Tolerance for GMOs
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