Have you ever questioned the origin of the vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes we are eating? To give you an answer, I translated here the article of Domenico Finiguerra published on Il Fatto Quotidiano. If you decide to read it; I invite you, once finished reading, to ask yourself:
1. For how long we’ve been buying and eating products made from crossbreed seeds, chemical fertilisers, chemical pesticides and uncontrolled waters?
2. What was the impact on my health and that of my children?
3. Who is responsible?
4. What to do about that?
If you ask a metropolitan citizen how many vegetables he knows, he would give you a list of maximum twenty items, and that would be a perfect answer: “tomato, sweet pepper, zucchini, egg-plant, carrot, potato, salad, onion…”. Very few with regard to the enormous variety which slowly we have lost. Lost consciously, even intentionally.
In 1970(*),the European Union experts started their valuations on which seeds to include and which to exclude from a bureaucratic register; they ended up striking out and declaring “Illegal” 1500 varieties of vegetables and fruits!!! Cancelled from the list of the seeds allowed for sale! Why? Simple.. Being deprived from a documented ownership (patent), those seeds are of no benefit whatsoever to the monstrous ‘Agro-Industrial Multi-Nationals’. Thus, an entire heritage of human farming civilization is being systematically abandoned making a great favour to those who, even back then, were looking far ahead.
The tomatoes present on our tables that we eat along with our children, are crossbreeds; that a farmer cannot re-seed. So, each year he is forced to rebuy the seeds from the Multi-Nationals that we all know (Monsanto on top).
A great damage. In fact, it is scientifically demonstrated and proved, that the old (abandoned) varieties possess more vitamins, proteins, starches and complex sugars as well as natural hormones.. They also have more intense and richer taste. In short, they are much better. Moreover, the traditional plants are more resistant and robust than others; as such they do not necessitate chemical substances to mature. And for last, the traditional variations of vegetables are (were?) “Bio-diversities”: precious resources selected throughout millenniums of human agriculture experience. They are the historical and biological memory of agriculture.
It appears evident to any man with common sense that walling, or even worse abolishing, those seeds is illogic and anti-historic. As much evident it is the fact that only very few powerful individuals (owners and proprietors of registered seeds patents) are keeping under strict control (and blackmail) all the farmers of our planet.
Fortunately, some resistance do exist. The “Seeds Savers” though dispersed around the world, yet are structuring several ‘Seed Banks’.. Geminating an agriculture revolution.. Vandana Shiva is one of those.
In Italy, they have “Civiltà Contadina” (literally ‘Country-side Civilisation’.. For more info consult www.civiltacontadina.it), a group of vigilant farmers dedicating all their efforts to work silently as the custodians to save and share seeds of various vegetables, cereals and legumes inherited from the traditional Italian agriculture. Their efforts are building up and the association is acquiring more consensus, support and volunteers every day; having a common goal “..so that our heritage do not vanish and our traditions do not extinct, and that we can pass on to future generations”.
It would be a good practice to participate all in such a mission.. Our children will be grateful to us.
Pass On the Word.*The GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), formed in 1949 to establish the regulations for international global trade, and to give birth to the ITO (Int’l Trade Organisation) later on becoming the WTO (World Trade Organisation); among its rules are those regulating the “Intellectual Property” under which came the obligations for patents to the seed property.