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Forum Post: We Need Monsanto Because of Climate Change

Posted 1 month ago on July 6, 2014, 10:58 a.m. EST by turbocharger (1191)
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[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28252) from Coon Rapids, MN 1 month ago

Dear friends,

Click to donate what you can:

$2 $4 $8 $16 $32

Donate another amount The source of our planet’s food is under threat. Ten agro-chemical firms own 73% of the commercial seed market, and as many as 93% of seed varieties have gone extinct. In the US alone 85% of apple varieties have disappeared.

Monsanto and co. are privatising the genesis of nature. And this corporate takeover is decimating sustainable farming, destroying the diversity of our crops, and making them vulnerable to diseases that could threaten our food security.

But farmers are resisting, saving seeds in banks and barns across the world. Now they have devised a revolutionary project -- the first ever, non-profit “eBay” of seed where any farmer, anywhere can source a wide variety of plants cheaper than the genetically modified seeds from chemical companies. This global online store could re-flood the market with all kinds of seeds and slowly break the monopoly that is putting our food future at risk!

This could be the most innovative agricultural idea in decades -- a Noah’s Ark of seeds. But chemical companies often bully and sue those that get in their way, and farmers are calling on us to support them. If we raise enough now we can help them launch the online site, support seed storing in key countries, finance marketing and advertising, and fund the legal defence to fight back.

Donate to help kick start this Noah's Ark for our food -- our partners are standing by to launch as soon as we've raised enough:

YES, I'LL DONATE $2

YES, I'LL DONATE $4

YES, I'LL DONATE $8

YES, I'LL DONATE $16

YES, I'LL DONATE $32

To donate an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

For thousands of years agriculture was driven by farmers selecting, replanting, and breeding seed varieties. Then the agro-chemical companies persuaded many governments to promote a corporate system of industrial, single-crop farming. Companies promise farmers higher yields and bigger earnings, and often lure them into multi-year contracts for GM (genetically modified) seeds and pesticides. Then they rely on patent laws and use agreements to strong-arm farmers to abandon their traditional practices of seed saving and innovation.

There is still no consensus on the long-term effects of GM crops, but experts say that the lack of independent scientific studies means there may be serious risks to our health from some GM foods. And there isn’t clear evidence that the introduction of GM seeds has improved farmers' incomes or provided more food for the world's people -- in fact in many cases it has driven small independent farmers out of business and in extreme cases to suicide to avoid debt.

The dire consequences go way beyond the farmers. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation more than three-quarters of the genetic diversity of our crops has been lost due to seed consolidation and industrial practices. This matters because when we cover large swathes of land with just one cash crop -- instead of rotating or diversifying them -- our farms are more susceptible to diseases. While genetic modification may increase some crop yields, it's clear that without seed diversity and locally-tailored sustainable practices to confront changing environmental conditions -- our global food security could be at risk.

But this crisis isn’t insurmountable. The takeover is only decades old, farmers have saved seed everywhere, and if supported widely, this online seed market could help recover our food. A coalition of more than 20 groups and leaders in the field of sustainable agriculture like the Center for Food Safety and activist Vandana Shiva are standing by ready to launch the project. Here’s how our funds can help:

directly support seed-saving initiatives in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. create a world class website for the online store that connects farming communities everywhere, allowing them to legally sell seeds and share best practices globally. help fund legal defence of this non-profit seed market from legal attacks by Monsanto and others. market and advertise the exchange so that farmers all over the world join up. campaign for better protections for our existing seeds from corporate takeover and patents.

Monsanto’s been forcing their GM seeds and vision of mass industrial agriculture on farmers (and all of us) for years, but if we all pitch in we can build this Noah's Ark for our remaining seed species! Chip in now and Avaaz will only process the pledge if we raise enough to make this plan work:
YES, I'LL DONATE $2

YES, I'LL DONATE $4

YES, I'LL DONATE $8

YES, I'LL DONATE$16

YES, I'LL DONATE $32

To donate an amount other than the ones listed above, click here.

“To plant a seed is to activate the deepest mysteries of the Universe.” These seeds hold the origin and mystery of so much of life as we know it. Let's support this movement to protect that mystery from complete corporate control and help bring back thousands of food plants we thought were already lost.

With hope and determination,

Alice, Maria Paz, Nick, Emma, Ricken, Antonia, Patricia, Mais, Emily, Diego and the whole Avaaz team

MORE INFORMATION:

2013 Report: Wake Up Before It's Too Late (UN Conference on Trade and Development) http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditcted2012d3_en.pdf

On India’s Farms, a Plague of Suicide (New York Times) http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/19/world/asia/19india.html

How many farmers plant GM worldwide? (EuropaBio) http://www.europabio.org/how-many-farmers-plant-gm-worldwide

Ministry blames Bt cotton for farmer suicides (Hindustan Times) http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/ministry-blames-bt-cotton-for-farmer-suicides/article1-830798.aspx

Monsanto Lawsuits Pile Up as American Farmers Demand Rights (Mother Earth News) http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/monsanto-lawsuits-from-family-farmers-zwfz1302zkin.aspx#axzz36IwTZWF7

Life in the Rural Police State of Monsanto (Truth Out) http://truth-out.org/news/item/16985-life-in-the-rural-police-state-of-monsanto

From 1903 -1983 the world lost 93 percent of key seed varieties (National Geographic) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07/food-ark/food-variety-graphic

The pernicious characteristics of monocultures (PBS) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/hackers/blame/threat.html

Norway invests $23.7 million in crop diversity to help farmers face climate change (FAO) http://www.fao.org/news/story/en/item/197662/icode/

World Food Day 2004 highlights the importance of biodiversity to global food security (FAO) http://www.fao.org/NEWSROOM/EN/news/2004/51140/index.html

Political Power of the Agribusiness & Crop Insurance Lobbies (Taxpayers for Common Sense) http://www.taxpayer.net/images/uploads/downloads/Political_Power_of_Farm_And_Crop_Insurance_Lobbies_Fact_Sheet.pdf

Putting the Cartel before the Horse (ETC) http://www.etcgroup.org/sites/www.etcgroup.org/files/CartelBeforeHorse11Sep2013.pdf

Avaaz.org is a 37-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

[-] 1 points by wickerman (62) 1 month ago

I have grown heirloom seed for a seed company for several years. I am sorry to inform everyone, but most of those seed varieties that only exist in seed banks are going extinct for a reason. We always sample the produce from new varieties that we are working to save. Unfortunately at least 80% of them just plain suck. I think that back when they were grown, people didn't know anything else. When new varieties came along, they stopped growing the other stuff. We get samples from seed banks all the time, we have trialed 20 or so purple tomatoes. I like Cherokee purple, but of the 20 we have tried only 2 or 3 were edible, and none close in quality to the Cherokee Purples. Just an example, we do the same with squash, and beans and a few other things. We even grew a potato last year that was on the verge of extinction. Pretty plant, hardly even looked like a potato at all. Little yellow fingerling potatoes, very pretty to look at, and tasted like dirt.

My point is not to make lite of varieties going extinct, but rather to point out that all are artificially generated by genetic manipulation. Cross this isolate that trait etc. So we aren't talking about something that nature put together. Some of these things are just dead ends though, they didn't work, or they went as far as they could and got nowhere. There are varieties worth saving, but then there are others that are best abandoned.