Against privatisation of seeds

Activists hang banner on the Cathedral of Luxembourg on the international day of peasant struggle

This morning (17/04), a banner saying “Seeds are sacred” appeared on the top of the tower of Luxembourg city’s Cathedral Notre-Dame.

The activists, who acted anonymously, aim to draw attention to the international days of action “Free our seeds”, which are taking place today and tomorrow in Brussels. They mark the annual International Day of Peasant Struggle and are promoted by over fifty organizations from all over Europe.

“This will be the climax of the Europe-wide campaign which denounces European Union legislation that encourages the privatisation of seeds by a handful of multinationals. Tens of thousands of people throughout Europe are actively demanding that the right to produce seeds remains in the hands of small farmers and gardeners”, it is explained on the website of the campaign (, advertised in the banner.

“EU seed legislation already gives strong preference to industrial varieties to the detriment of traditional varieties and plant diversity. It restricts the right of farmers and gardeners to produce, multiply and exchange their own seeds. We are demanding free access to seeds, support for those promoting regional crop diversity and the prohibition of patents on plants”

“Ten companies, among them Bayer, Monsanto, Syngenta und Limagrain, already control 67% of the world seed market. They want to conquer the rest of the market and thereby impose their registered varieties on the rest of the world, varieties which generally only thrive with the help of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and irrigation.”

Tomorrow (18/04), a demonstration will pass by the offices of seed companies and their lobby organisations in Brussels. In the end, a petition will be handed over to members of the European Parliament.

“The seed industry wants to secure intellectual property rights and the patenting of its crop varieties. It also seeks stronger control or even the prohibition of all non-registered varieties created by generations of farmers and gardeners. Crop diversity is the fruit of thousand’s of years of human activity throughout the world. It is a common good and belongs to everyone”, it is explained in the text of the petition. It therefore demands “the prohibition of genetic technologies in agriculture and the prohibition of patents on plants.”

This symbolic action was the expression of the resistance against the monopolisation and privatisation of seeds, existing also in Luxembourg.

petition :

Filed under: activism,Environment — Tags: — francisco - April 17, 2011 8:22 pm


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