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Report Action days for Seed Sovereignty in Brussels

The international Days of Action for Seed Sovereignty are a protest against privatization and corporate monopolization of seeds. Along with land and water, sowing seeds are the most important means of production for agriculture, the basis of our food and life.

Several presentations on the theme of “Access to sowing seeds as a human right” in which activists reported on the situation in their country and the possible impact of the changes in EU seed regulations were presented along with a taped video message of Olivier Schutter from the UN – in support of sustainable, organic farming.

The second day of Seed Action started with an informal session for seed-activists from different countries to get to know each other. In the afternoon hundreds of them gathered to demonstrate through the European quarters of Brussels in a coulourful “Anti Lobby Tour”. Most international lobby organisations for the agrochemical industry are situated in this area. The demonstration halted in front of the Bayer office and 58.000 signatures against stricter seed regulation were handed to three MEP’s

Holzapfel: “We reclaim the right to the seeds from our own soil, the right to collect seeds and to pass them on”. He advocates regional diversity and supporting organic growers and breeders. He is in favour of a different kind of seed regulation, in which the registration of chemical- and energy-intensive species is restricted. Vice president of the EP Isabell Durant described the activists as “an avant-garde that touch on a very important theme” and encouraged everyone to continue to do so back in their own country. Her and two colleagues wheeled the signatures to Parliament in wheelbarrows. MEP Marc Tarabella promised to call for an investigation into the possible effects of the proposed changes in EU seed regulation. A brand new brochure about the lobby organisations, made by CEO was handed out www.corporateeurope.org. The demonstration also stopped in front of the European Seed Association (ESA), a lobby organisation for the seed industry, and in front of the EU Commission that facilitates the development of industrial and genetically manipulated seeds. The procession ended in front of the European Parliament with speeches and theater.

“The Seed Action Days were a major success” says co-organiser Anne Schweigler from the German SaatgutKampagne. She is optimistic about the future: “The conviction and interest of so many people on the seed fair and the critical creativity of all these committed people from different backgrounds is hopeful. This is where concrete and practical alternatives for the ongoing privatisation of all areas of life is taking shape.”

Find the report in English and many other languages on http://www.seed-sovereignty.org/EN/index.html.