The Government of Canada is preparing to pass a new law, Bill C-18, the Agricultural Growth Act, that would give global seed corporations vast new power to control seeds – and to profit from them on the backs of farmers.
The National Farmers Union is working hard to stop this from happening. We support the NFU in their fight, and have signed the following letter in support of Canadian farmers:
We Support Canada’s Farmers
We stand with Canadian farmers in opposing measures that threaten farmers’ long-standing rights over seeds. Like family farmers around the world, Canadian farmers have a long tradition of selecting, saving and reusing their own seed as well as exchanging seeds with other farmers and buying from local seed growers. We believe that family farmers, not private institutions and corporations, can best conserve and enhance the genetic pool of plants, to feed people in an increasingly changing climate and environment while ensuring a resilient agriculture through cultivating seed diversity and adaptability.
We denounce the amendment of Canada’s Plant Breeders’ Rights Act (PBR) to conform with the UPOV ’91 Convention as proposed by the Growth Agricultural Act (Bill C-18) as it will result in a further privatization, uniformization and monopolization of seeds by PBR holder. While the latter benefit from the new right to collect royalties at various stages of the crop production, farmers will loose their historical right to seeds autonomy. Canada has no obligation under international trade agreements or treaties to conform with UPOV ’91.
We join our voice to the Canadian family farming movement and urge the Canadian government to respect and protect the rights of farmers and demand to:
- Stop Bill C-18 and reject UPOV ’91.
- Re-establish and increase funding for public plant breeding institutions and public researchers and resume public plant breeding to the variety level.
- Reorient Canada’s agricultural laws towards the principles of Food Sovereignty – healthy food, ecological sustainability and democratic control.
- Adopt a new Seed Law based on the NFU’s Principles for a Farmers’ Seed Act.