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EU launch puts seeds back on the table

The European Parliament will host the Brussels launch of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2016, bringing back discussions over the monopolization and privatization of seeds as well as the increasing criminalization of human rights defenders.

In recent years, negotiations on European regulations on seeds have been undergoing. The general trend points to an increasing defense of patented technologies of genetic modification and the monopoly of industrial seeds. Both destroy agricultural biodiversity and erode peasant seed systems, which feed most of the world population.

Currently, three transnational corporations control two thirds of the global commercial market for seeds and pesticides. Increasingly difficult for governments to withstand this power, the emerging seed laws bring the political sovereignty of peoples and their human rights under the command of shareholders of big business.

On another note, criminalization of those defending access to and control over natural resources, including seeds, as human rights, is on the rise. Paradoxically, while seeds ought to be considered as commons, using and exchanging traditional seeds can be subject to sanctions. 

These issues, core to both internal and external EU policies, and other closely linked topics will be debated on November 16 at the European Parliament, following the presentation of key findings of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch, entitled “Keeping Seeds in Peoples’ Hands”. Hosted by MEPs Maria Heubuch, Maria Noichl and Bart Staes, the panel will count on the participation of Sofia Monsalve (FIAN International), Guy Kastler (Peasant Seeds Network and La Via Campesina), Bernhard Walter (Brot für die Welt) as well as European Commission officials.

You can register by November 10 by clicking here.
You can access the invitation here.