Monday, March 24, 2014

Information Regarding Bill C-18

Fellow Club Members,
Monsanto, Cargill, Bayer, and other Agri business corporations that control  most of the seed growing and distribution networks in Canada and the USA have joined forces and put a Bill (C-18) before Parliament requesting sweeping changes to Canada’s basic federal agriculture laws.

This Bills seeks to diminish or eliminate farmers, orchardists and home gardeners’ rights to save all seeds, including heritage and open pollinated varieties --- a basic right that has stood in Common Law for centuries.
C-18 also seeks to increase royalties to the big corporations on all registered seed, and gives them the right to control all seed cleaning and distribution companies, as well as seed trading... this means even community venues like Seedy Saturday will become illegal, and plants from registered seed cannot be sold by private individuals. This also means fund raisers like the club plant sale may become illegal.

The National Farmers Union has begun a nation-wide campaign to stop the bill.
The NFU estimates a big jump in grain product prices and veggies prices at the retail level. In addition this can also mean more than doubling the cost of a seed packet at the garden centre, and a loss of many heritage varieties that have recently become popular again.  

Part of the NFU plan is a petition that will be presented to Parliament. Federal petitions must be on paper, so I will bring a copy to the club meeting on Tuesday so that all concerned folks can sign.
For the whole story, please go to the National Farmers website. Here’s the link....
Thanks for listening,
Jo Canning,
Master Gardeners Association of BC

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