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SEEDmail #29 – October 2013

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These are turbulent times at ASEED. Lots of people are leaving and new people are arriving. Therefore the organisation will be changing, and that is certainly good. But our campaign work keeps on, which is certainly necessary as well. Time for a SEEDmail… about Monsanto and other seed stuff.
1: October 30: March Against MonsantoS – International pesticide industry comes to Amsterdam. ASEED has organises on 30 October a protest together with March Against Monsanto. Help out, join us!

2: Monsanto receives a prize from … Monsanto – GM and seed industry buys a food prize

3: Reclaim the Seeds 2014 – This time on 8-9 march in Groningen. Again with seed swapping, workshops and discussions.

4: Planning and preparations for a campaign for seed-sovereignity. For the protection of agricultural biodiversity and against the involvement of big industry.

5: ASEED is always in need of money. Support us!

1: October 30: March Against MonsantoS
On October 29 and 30 the biggest pesticide companies of the world are coming together in the RAI at Crop World Global. To show what we think of this bunch of powerful poisoners ASEED is organising a demonstration at the RAI on October 30th, together with March Against Monsanto

Crop World Global is sponsored by Bayer, and has speakers from BASF, Dow and all other players, including Monsanto, will also be present. As March Against MonsantoS we will march to the RAI for healthy food and sustainable agriculture, an agriculture without pesticides,GM and big businesses that make money off the backs of farmers, in the Netherlands and the rest of the world.

Before the Marches Against Monsanto in May, Monsanto stood prominently on the program as participatory business and sponsor. Afterwards their name was removed from the website of the congress, probably for PR-reasons-it’s not a good time to be associated with this company. But Monsanto is just as present and is represented via  lobby organisations. Importantly, there are also other companies present up to the same dirty business as Monsanto. These companies are getting their patents on seeds and plants and are gaining an unhealthily tight grip on our food system.
For a world without poison, a world without Monsanto!

Demonstrate with us! Meeting at 2pm at the entrance of the RAI (in line with the Kennedylaan).

How to help us
You can also help out with the organisation and mobilisation. On our website is a flyer that you can print out and spread around. Or pass this announcement around those you know, and if you have facebook, ‘like’ the event page of the demonstration and invite your friends.

But there is still lots to be done to make this action a success. For example, if you fancy painting a beautiful banner, making other action materials, preparing a flyer to share along the route, translating texts, taking care of the catering and organizing some activities at the end of the demonstration, then please contact us with  <mams@aseed.net>.
More information and updates on https://aseed.net/nl/march-against-monsantos
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/367695743342525

2: Gentech and Seed Industry Buy Food Prize
On 16th October – World Food Day – the Borlaug Foundation awarded the world food prize to top executives of Monsanto and Syngenta. The price is co-financed by the companies themselves and the institute has received a storm of criticism over it. Within days a quarter of a million people signed a protest call (1) . The prize has all the signs of a PR stunt of the industry, who are using cheap tricks to throw an unwelcome technology into the limelight.

3: Reclaim the Seeds 2014
After the successful editions of 2012 in Amsterdam and 2013 in Den Bosch the seed circus will appear in Groningen on 8th-9th march 2014. In the north of the Netherlands there are many people saving seeds from many different crops, and importantly, there is an active group of people that want to sort out the location and other practical arrangements. People from the north of the country often have to travel a long way for events. So it is fair that people from the middle and south now need to go to some effort to trvel up to Groningen! And after all it is not that far and sleeping places will be arranged.

Updates about the stallholders, planned workshops and other program details will be put on the website www.reclaimtheseeds.nl. If you would like to have a stall at the seed fair or if you would like to help, please send an email to <info@reclaimtheseeds.nl>.

Until early March in Groningen!

4: Planning and preparations for a campaign on seed sovereignity.
If you’re already an ASEED follower, you will know that big-industry is getting an even firmer grip on agriculture. Also, an increasing proportion of vegetable seeds and grains is owned by a handful of companies. The seed and seedling industry in the Netherlands is large and exports worldwide, and only recently, major companies have been taken over by companies like Monsanto and Syngenta, whilst European legislation is being adjusted so that the free seeds and special varieties are even more at risk.  Meanwhile, more and more people are interested in sustainable and local agriculture. This is a good opportunity for ASEED to further out seed campaign. There are plans to make a new information brochure and mobilise in the following year against the plans of the European Commission, whilst also promoting the alternative: the use and exchange of saved seeds. There are now more small growers that are doing this, but it is ASEEDS ambition for 2014 to build a bridge between hobby-groweres and professional farmers and growers. Also, working together with the international Seed Sovereignty-netwerk, Reclaim the Seeds and Via Campesina is still important.

5: ASEED is always in need of money. Support us!
Meanwhile ASEED is always in need of money. Lots of work is done by volunteers, however, for the sake of our continuity, we want to keep 2 part-time paid workers. Our office is a very useful place for us to use together, to work and make plans, and the rent is relatively cheap but it still costs money. We think ASEED is doing good things, and fills an important role that other action-groups do not fill. We cannot really expect much money from big funds and the government (and maybe that’s a good thing-we often want to be a thorn in their side). So, we can make extra good use of money from individuals!Support us as a once-off, or even better, become a regular supporter of ASEED. More information on https://aseed.net/en/donate/
And if you know a millionaire that likes out work, we’ll be happy to hear about it.

Additions, questions and other reactions can be sent to info@aseed.net