Posted on Feb 16th, 2016
Senate Bill S510, The Food Modernization Act, failed to pass the House vote in 2010, but that didn’t stop corporate interests from continuing to pursue state regulations similar to the Act… right into your own backyard. Now it is an act of defiance in many cities to plant an organic garden with saved or traded seeds.
According to cumberlink.com, “Since the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) controversial investigation of the Simpson Seed Library in Mechanicsburg, PA, in June 2014, the legal status of community seed trading and maintaining seed libraries in question across the country.”“Informally sharing seed with a neighbor who gardens down the street is illegal in multiple states in the US. The penalty for violating this ridiculous law is a fine of up to $7,500 a day and potentially a misdemeanor.” natural society.com
Here are some of the state “Seed Law” highlights from state website links found on the American Seed Trade Association website ...“You can’t even give away seeds to someone in your own neighborhood under certain laws. For example, in some states you need to buy an annual permit and submit each lot of seeds for germination testing; if you don’t, you are defying the law.” – natural society.com
[url=http://www.arizonaseedtrade.org/Seed Law_Rules Booklet 2007.pdf]Arizona [/url]: 25. “Vegetable seeds” means seeds of those crops which are grown in gardens and on truck farms and are generally known and sold under the name of vegetable seeds in this state
Arkansas: 77-123. Rights of inspection. – For the purposes of carrying out the requirements of this act, and the rules and regulations made, and notices given, pursuant thereto, the State Plant Board and its inspectors and employees shall have the right to enter into or upon any place and for purpose of inspection to open any bundle, package or other container of plants, plant products, articles or substances.
Connecticut: Labeling … (d) For vegetable seeds in containers of one pound or less: (1) The name of the kind and variety of seed; (2) for seeds which germinate less than the standard last established by the Commissioner of Agriculture under this chapter, (A) the percentage of germination, exclusive of hard seed; (B) the percentage of hard seed, if present; (C) the calendar month and year the test was completed to determine such percentages, and (D) the words “below standard” in not smaller than eight point type; (3) the name and address of the person who labeled such seed, or who sells or offers or exposes for sale such seed within this state.
Deleware: (11) ”Stop sale” means an administrative order provided by law, restraining the sale, use, disposition and movement of a definite amount of seed.
[url=http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0578/SEC14.HTM&Title=->2000->Ch0578->Section 14#0578.14]Florida:[/url] 578.14 Packet vegetable and flower seed.–When vegetable or flower seed are sold, offered for sale, or exposed for sale in packets of less than 8 ounces, the company who packs seed for retail sale shall register and pay fees as provided under s. 578.08.
Georgia: 2-11-34. Penalties for violations of article or rules and regulations; Commissioner authorized to utilize warning for minor violations. (a) Any person or vendor violating any of the provisions of this article or rules and regulations promulgated under this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Now, to get some insight into this issue, John Kohler of online gardening show Growing Your Greens speaks to Neil Thapar, staff attorney at the Sustainable Economies Law Center(SELC), and Rebecca Newburn from the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library“You can’t even give away seeds to someone in your own neighborhood under certain laws. For example, in some states you need to buy an annual permit and submit each lot of seeds for germination testing; if you don’t, you are defying the law.
“If this smacks of corporate farming infiltration to you, you aren’t alone. just 6 companies in the world have patented most of the seeds grown in the entire global agricultural market. Our food diversity is crumbling and it’s largely because corporations, not people, are in charge of the supply.” – natural society.com
“We urge you to share and sign this petition and let your state officials know that this is something you strongly oppose. It will only take you seconds to make it known loud and clear that you believe saving seed is a human right and that dependence on corporations should be a choice, not necessity.”You don’t even need to be anti-corporate America or by any means a “conspiracy theorist” to oppose this. Whether an unjust legal system fueled by corporate lobbying and greed is literally behind this silly law or not, you should sign the petition below to lift the illegality of gifting seeds to your community.
To learn more about the protection of seed libraries, visit the Save Seed Sharing website and read the petition to the Departments of Agriculture in all 50 states.
To check for your state seed law, visit the American Seed Trade Association website.
sources – realfarmacy.com, treehugger.com, cumberlink.com, naturalsociety.com, foodtank.com
cover photo – foodtank.com
Thanks to: http://www.ewao.com