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Save Seed-Saving

May 4, 2013

Because this deserves its own post, no matter how tired I am…

As I mentioned yesterday, the EU is planning to pass a law that would pretty much make seed saving illegal. It would mean that all vegetable varieties have to undergo a registration process that is a.) expensive and b.) requires the varieties to fulfill certain standards that many heirloom varieties would not reach. And without that registration, selling or trading avariety would be illegal.

They are doing this in the name of consumer protection, to ensure the uniformity of varieties so that “people will get what they want to buy”. But many heirloom varieties are not that uniform. That is not necessarily a flaw: it allows them to more quickly adapt to different conditions – as each seed-saver takes seeds from those plants that grow best in his or her garden, the variety is adapting to the conditions in this particular garden. And the same variability allows them to adapt to a changing climate, to new pests or whatever else gets thrown at them.

And that’s not even mentioning just how many varieties of every kind of vegetable there are. Just how many varieties would be in danger of being lost. The genetic diversity of each species narrowed through the bottleneck of what Monsanto & co consider worth growing?


Let’s not let that happen. It’s getting late for fighting back (I really wish I had found the time and energy to write about this sooner), as the EU commission will be voting about it on Monday, May 6th. Please – especially if you live in the EU – add your signature, here or here  or here (in German) (or to all of them).

Because heirloom seeds belong to all of us, and to the generations that come after us, and politicians and corporations have no right to take them away from us.

 Lycopersicon esculentum


I’m writing all of this from memory, from what I’ve read in the papers and heard on the radio, mostly weeks ago, as I currently do not have the time or energy to follow the news. So any mistakes and inaccuracies are the fault of my customers, who keep me insanely busy for too many hours a day.

If you want to read something that’s better researched and probably better written, you could look here:

Arche Noah


Real Seeds

Bifurcated Carrots

Or just google “EU seed law” or something like that and you should get lots more articles.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 5, 2013 02:35

    I’m so grateful you brought this to my attention. Better late than never. I’ll tweet you post in a minute. I just hope this truly important development doesn’t get lost in some of the other, more sexy causes championed by social media.


  1. EU Seed Law – Please, Please, Please Don’t Let This Happen | Letters & Leaves
  2. Seed Diversity Under Threat | Letters & Leaves

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