CETA and the Home Gardener



Recent reports show that the European Union is considering legislation that would require all seeds for sale or trade to be of certified varieties only, with costs to certify being between $4 000 and $5 000 per variety. From my standpoint, this is another move to give corporate seedsmen, mostly owned by large chemical concerns, complete control over what gets planted and by whom. It fits right in with the philosophy of relegating environmental concerns to the background and letting wild fish stocks dwindle to the point where fish farms will control the seafood supply, and it fits in with the de facto privatization of water and power, as well as state policy around here that supports the fossil fuel incumbency. Should we be worried about what the EU is doing with seeds? Damn right, given that Canada, under the leadership of one Stephen Harper, has recently signed a free-trade treaty with the EU which would likely include provision for harmonization of agricultural policies of this nature. Measures of this nature would preclude organizations like Seeds of Diversity and the U.S. Seed Savers’ Exchange from doing what they have been doing to protect diversity in both production and gene plasm. It would likely pull the rug out from under small, independent seed houses, some of whom raise their own seed stock and many of whom rely on networks of small independent seed producers: none of these people would be able to afford the costs in both time and money to get their material homologated under the proposed regulations. Ho hum, just another turn of the CPC screw on the people whose interests the government of Canada is supposed to protect.