Dear Monsanto et al.,Dear mister Hugh Grant,
I’m not really sure how I should tell you this, but umm… Look, in fact the seed question (see this article from Belgian independent news magazine MO* about the situation in Tanzania) is really, really dead simple. But since you still don’t seem to get the point, I’ll explain it again extensively here, especially for you. So, ready? Here we go, step by step:
- When someone buys a seed, he owns that seed. He can do with it whatever he wants. Compare: When I buy a bike, I own that bike. I’m not going to ask the manufacturer for permission every time I want to ride it. NOTE: for purposes of clarity, we’ll call this person the buyer/owner of the seed (and further in the explanation, the planter/owner and the harvester/owner, respectively).
- So let’s say the buyer/owner plants his seed in his garden or field, and there happens to grow a plant out of it. Oh god given wonder! NOTE: hitherto there exist no (fully zero) Monsanto-given wonders. If you doubt this claim, ask the Pope for confirmation. So, we come to this formula: F1: seed + soil + work = plant
- The seed has now been transformed into a plant, so the planter/owner of the seed now owns this plant. He still can do with it whatever he wants.
- So let’s say this planter/owner works a whole year or season to care for his plant so it will eventually bear fruit (Look: another god given wonder!). Accordingly, we now come to this formula: F2: plant + more work = fruit
- The planter/owner can now harvest (= still more work!). The labour he put into his seed and consecutively into his plant has yielded fruits. The harvester/owner of the seed which transformed into a plant which transformed into fruits now owns these fruits and can use them as he pleases. Compare: when my dog gets pregnant and delivers a number of puppies, these puppies are my property. So they’re mine to sell, keep or even kill as I want (of course killing them would be mean and cruel, if you can grasp these words, but that’s not the point here). The point is: these puppies are NOT the property of the person I bought my dog from anymore, even when this person had put a lot of effort and money into research and crossbreeding to get this very specific kind of dog. So, formula-wise, we now have: F3: fruiting plant + even more work = harvested fruits
- By consequence, if these fruits happen to contain any seeds, these seeds also are the rightful property of the one who put in all the work to transform one seed into a plant, into fruits and into new seeds.
- It is NOT possible, in no imaginable or unimaginable manner, to retain so-called “intellectual property rights” over seeds you sell – no matter how much work or money you put in developing them. Once you sell it, a seed ceases to be your property and becomes the property of the buyer – hence the fact you get money in return for your seed: it gets exchanged. That’s what selling means, basically (check a dictionary if you don’t believe me). So you get paid for your research efforts by selling your seeds – full stop. If you want to get more out of your seeds, raise your price. Or, you know what: plant your seeds instead of selling them. If you do all the work yourself, from planting to harvesting, then you have a right to harvested seats. Otherwise, umm, no. None. Full stop. NOTE: NO! I said FULL STOP! Period.
- And now the tricky part, which is also the most important: any legislation contrary to points 1-7 mentioned above is unlawful by default.
Why so?Because in all possible cases, any such ‘legislation’ contradicts human rights. It may surprise you, but people are endowed with certain rights, which are bestowed upon them at birth. These rights include, among others:
- the right to food and shelter (UDHR art. 25);
- the right to own property (which happens e.g. by buying something… duh!; UDHR art. 17); and
- the right to free movement (UHDR art. 13), which also applies to goods like, e.g., seeds.
So you might want to (re?)read these articles very carefully. Thanks to Wikipedia, you can find them here.Please start acting accordingly from now on.We know you don’t really care (or so it seems) about being a responsible human being, but the rest of us do and it’s quite important to us. After all, since we’re all in this together, you simply belong with us. So now just grow up, be a little bit more responsible and do your part of being human.Thank you very much!
Earth, Nature & Humanity