Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
Sept. 26, 2012
It all begins with a seed.
Civilizations come and go; nations rise and fall; cultures flourish and vanish, but seeds remain... because seeds must remain.
“Without seed,” explains Winnie Wong, activist and organizer for Occupy Wall Street (OWS), “we would not be able to stand up, never mind be able to attend protests and use our bodies to resist those that oppress the very seed that they too depend on for survival.”
Two groupings of humans (for diametrically opposed reasons) have never forgotten the fundamental significance of seeds: the indigenous and the 1%.
Mic Check: It’s time to rally everyone else.
Occupy the Seed
“To see things in the seed, that is genius.”
- Lao Tzu
When buried under debt and living in daily fear of losing income/employment -- wondering if you can “afford” to get sick or if your pension will even exist come pay-off time -- it’s difficult for the 99% to maintain a big picture/long-term view. And the 1% is counting on us being afraid, distracted, alienated, and misinformed.
The 1% is also very much counting on us being out of touch with realities like these, as expressed by activist, author, and eco-feminist, Vandana Shiva:
“Seed is the source of life and the first link in the food chain. Control over seed means a control over our lives, our food, and our freedom. Corporations like Monsanto have created a seed emergency -- an emergency through patents on seeds, seed monopolies, biopiracy, genetic engineering, and creation of non-renewable sterile seeds.”
While the problem runs much deeper than just a single corporation, Monsanto’s role in in subverting the seed has helped it earn its reputation for global malevolence, e.g. seed monopolies have pushed 250,000 farmers to commit suicide in India alone.
In 2010, I spoke about this situation with Marie-Monique Robin, author of The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of Our Food Supply and creator of a film by the same name.
“Monsanto is the world leader in biotechnology and the first seed company,” Robin told me. “Ninety percent of the GMOs grown in the world belong to it. During the last decade, the firm bought dozens of seed companies all over the world, pushing its transgenic seeds, which are patented. A patented seed means that the farmers who grow it may not keep a part of his crops to re-sow it the next year, as farmers used to do everywhere in the world. In the United States and Canada, farmers who grow transgenic crops must sign a ‘technology agreement,’ the no-sowing requirement is clearly expressed. Clearly transgenic crops are just a tool to control the seeds supply, which is the first link in the food chain, by forcing farmers to buy seeds each year.”
A problem, explains Robin, is that corporations are “manipulating information, studies, press, and the experts of the regulatory agencies.” In her research, she found businesses selling “harmful products” with “complete impunity,” using methods like: “concealing scientific data, lies, manipulating regulations, corruption, pressuring scientists and journalists, as well as threats.”
All these machinations have placed the control of seeds into the hands of the 1% -- and have presented us with the now-or-never activist scenario.
“There is growing consciousness among people,” states Wong. “We're waking up and acknowledge that the global corporatization of our food systems is slowly killing us. This is just one of the many examples of 'profit over people', and it has got to stop.”
What can we do? Here’s a list of suggestions from the Seed Freedom Campaign:
Ideas for Actions for the Seed Freedom Fortnight: October 2-16, 2012.
(As you plan your own events and actions, please add them to the Fortnight of Action Calendar.)
During a recent interviewed with Alex Ikonomidis for his forthcoming film, A Seed for Change, Vandana Shiva summed up as such:
“The old economy is crashing for people. It’s doing very well for the banks but we have to build other economies and in these other economies, the currency is life. After all, our health is real wealth. Our freedom is real wealth. Our communities are real wealth. Our seeds are real wealth.”
Note to my fellow Occupiers: If you wanna turn the “Fuck Monsanto” chant into reality, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
“Occupy Monsanto and many other food justice affinity groups, which were borne out of OWS, are working tirelessly day in and day out,” Winnie Wong adds. “The end goal is to educate as many people as possible to the numerous dangers that GMOs present to the health of all species.”
We can occupy for seed freedom... or not. The choice, of course, is ours. But rest assured, our collective future depends on the decisions we make today.
I’ll see you at the barricades...
© WorldNewsTrust.com -- Share and re-post this story. Please include this copyright notice and a link to World News Trust.