Now They’re Even Criminalizing Seeds. No, Seriously–Beth Trissel


sprouting seedIn government(s) gone mad even vegetable seeds are coming under bureaucratic regulation.  This alarming heads up is from Natural News: “A new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency. It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law. The draft text of the law, which has already been amended several times due to a huge backlash from gardeners, is viewable here.

The article goes on to say: “Virtually all plants, vegetable seeds and gardeners to eventually be registered by government…Nearly all varieties of heirloom vegetable seeds will be criminalized under this proposed EU law. This means the act of saving seeds from one generation to the next — a cornerstone of sustainable living — will become a criminal act.”

garden in ray of sunshineUnbelievable. This would be most of what I grow. Will America be next? Given the regulatory madness of  our federal government and current administration, I fear it very well could.  President Obama signed Executive Order 13603. I hadn’t even heard about it until I noted a comment under the article at Natural News, so I did a little digging. What I learned is alarming. From New American (one of several sites with similar reports, though not mainstream media sources which avoid covering any non government approved news) Apparently it’s a “National Defense Resources Preparedness,” issued a little over a year ago, on March 16, 2012. This executive order is frightening because of its sweeping scope, explicitly declaring that the president and his designated Cabinet and agency heads have authority to commandeer and control: all water,  all human and animal food,  all transportation,  all energy, all construction materials, all “health resources,” all farm equipment, all fertilizers, all fuels, … and much more.”

Minuteman Statue, American Revolution, Concord, Militia, Independence, Statue,Our Founding Fathers would be appalled. But they warned us repeatedly about cherishing and protecting our freedoms which Americans have failed to do.

John Adams said in a letter to his wife Abigail, “Liberty once lost is lost forever.” I even did a post on that which you are invited to read HERE.

I fear we may need another revolution and I really don’t feel up to it. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

32 responses to “Now They’re Even Criminalizing Seeds. No, Seriously–Beth Trissel

  1. I was already upset about Monsanto’s corn, now I learn heirloom seeds are under attack. This is very upsetting! What a crazy world. Too much government interference in the wrong places.

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    • Yes, I heard about the Monsanto corn thing, and that farmers were being sued for not growing their seed. This increasing control over seed won’t begin with the home gardener but it can trickle down to the point where we are affected. Entirely too much government interference in the wrong places is very alarming.

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    • Just a follow up thought, Caroline. Maybe the powerful seed companies are behind some of this.

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  2. Good post, Beth. Well said.

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  3. Pamela Asbury-Smith

    I’m disappointed in you for this, Beth. Its false. You should have verified your facts before you posted this, and clarifyied for some that EU means EUOPREAN UNION and not the USA. This actually is an updating of an order passed in 1994, signed by President Clinton, which has decades-old predecessors. The update in this particular order is the addition of Homeland Security to the cabinet. You won;t be surprised to know that I’m unsubsctibing.

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  4. Pamela Asbury-Smith

    Excuse the typos in “won’t” and unsubscribing”, please… the design of the comment section doesn’t allow me to see everything so I can make corrections, and I’m not able to edit.

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  5. Pamela, there’s no need to be disappointed. Beth very rightly identifies that this is in the EU and even goes on to ask whether the U.S. will be next at the beginning of the 3rd paragraph. Whether the Executive Order 13603 is updated from the Clinton era or something new (which I admittedly haven’t investigated myself), given the state of our government’s overreach on any number of things, is irrelevant. Whether it’s an overreach of governmental hands is not.

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    • Thanks for clarifying that, Keiti. As small family farmers we have witnessed mounting Government regulations that are getting to the point where it is increasingly difficult to survive. These regulations are entering into more and more facets of agriculture and now, it would seem, in Europe even gardeners are threatened. So I asked, can this happen here? I fear if unchecked, it could.

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      • I can’t even imagine how bad the government regulations have been for small family farmers. As you know, I haven’t even managed to get a personal garden going. But these regulations trickle down and impact the ones who can least afford it, including consumers. The prices for fresh food items are outrageous and I fear that they’re only going to get worse. And I agree with you – if left unchecked, it could certainly happen here. I think far too many people have looked the other way for far too long.

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      • As I said in a different reply, but it bears repeating as an example of how nuts government regulations can be, one of the government inspectors that came to our farm actually told us we should cover every exposed rock in the meadow with soil for fear a cow might poop on the stone and the manure could penetrate any cracks in the rock. Seriously.

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      • Sometimes I’m surprised that they don’t try to outlaw Mother Nature. Sheesh!

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      • Probably would if they could.

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  6. It is frightening, Beth. I wonder how many heirloom plants have been lost because government subsidies decided what was saleable and what wasn’t…

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    • Only individuals can save the heirloom varieties. My husband’s family have a number of them that have been handed down from generation to generation.

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      • What a remarkable heritage! I was thinking of an apple farmer who explained his frustrating with trying to keep his varied orchard alive. He talked about there being well over 200 varieties, but only a few show up in grocery stores because of regulations. I’m a terrible gardner. Family members are farmers and the hoops they have to jump through is astonishing.

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      • Indeed. Then you know some of what we’re dealing with. Even small family farmers have to jump through unbelievable hoops, as you said, to meet regulations. Every crop we plant, every ounce of manure we spread on the fields has to be approved. The manure is used so we can fertilize organically but even this displeases the government officials, so we are allowed only so much. What we are to do with the rest of it is our problem. The burgeoning regulations are the reason most farmers are very leery of government and what’s coming next. Also why droves have gone under.

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      • Oh, and yes, it is a remarkable heritage now that I think of it. I’d taken all those family seeds for granted, named for various members of the family over the years. There’s the Lily Trissel Pole Bean and the Blosser beets, and so on. Guess I shouldn’t blab this around in case the seed police come after me someday.

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      • And isn’t it sad to feel like you have to be careful of what you say in a country with free speech. It’s seeds! Praying your crops are fruitful. Keep saving those seeds.

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      • Yes, it is. And I will. I’ve even got some seed from Thomas Jefferson. They sell them at Monticello. I love the old heirlooms best of all, which is why that article about what’s going on in Europe caught my eye.
        Thanks Judy.

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  7. Pamela Asbury-Smith

    There are several search engines out there where one can verify information. Adding the department of Homeland Security to the order isn’t government overreach in my view; its looking out for the safety of everyone. Think about this… when you plant your garden, who is actually going to come and check the origin of the seeds you used?

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    • No one is checking the origin of my seed–yet. But Monsanto is already trying to control farmer’s planting their brand of corn seed. My concern is that what’s happening in Europe with the hotly debated seed control bill could happen here. And home gardeners could be affected. We’ve already had the EPA on our small family farm simply because we have a pond, and even though it is fenced off in the approved manner and no cows allowed near it and grass and trees planted, the officials still scrutinized us closely and we could have been heavily fined had something not met with their approval. I could not believe it when one of the inspectors actually told us we should cover every exposed rock in the meadow with soil for fear a cow might poop on the stone and the manure could penetrate any cracks in the rock. Seriously, they are this nuts, and that is why you do not want more government regulation.

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  8. Pamela – yes, there are search engines out there that will take you to sites with more information. But tell me, which sites are applicable to verifying the information… government sites? news sites? random sites that discuss a particular issue? Parsing the truth of anything isn’t quite as cut and dried as it used to be.

    I should have probably been more specific in my statement. I hadn’t meant to refer to the addition of homeland security to the order, but rather the idea that government would even stick its nose in in the first place. This is where you and I will most vehemently disagree – while I agree that it is the government’s duty to protect us from major dangers, it is not, in my opinion, its duty to be our babysitters or caretakers when we’re capable of making our own decisions about what’s best for us or for our families. And, as an example, if we decide that heirloom plants are how we want to feed our families, then who is the government to say any differently? The people in this country fed themselves just fine before the government decided we needed to be protected from ourselves. With all the outbreaks of food-borne illnesses, I’m not convinced the laws currently on the books do much good. They’re more about cleaning up after the fact than they are about prevention.

    As an aside, I’m pleased that we can discuss this issue without resorting to name-calling, personal attacks, etc. That happens so rarely these days.

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  9. You need to listen to Anna Kavanaugh’s radio show on GMOs, Monsanto and the other biotech companies to see what they’re up to. Truly frightening. http://www.geneticcrossroadradio.com/podcasts-on-demand.html

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    • Thanks. I will. The more I think about it, the more it seems likely they are behind this whole seed thing, and trying to get the government(s) in their pocket.

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  10. I can’t understand the reasoning behind all this. I’m not involved in farming, so I have not experienced these brick walls the government is setting up. How does the government think people are going to eat? Are they trying to systematically kill off the middle and lower class? Or is it really the biotech companies? While I worry for our generation, dear God, what will happen to our children and grandchildren? Thanks for making me aware of this Beth.

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    • I don’t understand the reasoning either, unless its the biotech companies and government(s) going nuts with regulations. I also fear for our children, grandchildren, and us all if this pattern of control continues unchecked,

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