Farmers organisations members of the European Coordination Via Campesina met in Dottenfelder Hof Farm close to Frankfort (Germany) from April 22th to 24th, to exchange good seed practices from different countries and analyse the threats to peasant’s rights regarding seeds. Here are the outcomes of the event.
The European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) Seed Group organized a meeting on April 22th to 24th at the Farm in Dottenfelder Hof in the periphery of Frankfort (Germany), in order to intensify information exchanges on the breeding, exchange and use of seeds. During this meeting, different proposals and concrete practices have been discussed to strengthen peasants’ rights regarding seeds and their protection against GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism). Among the issues considered, we can mention:
- - The various proficient practices on seeds carried out by peasants around Europe and the world that allow peasant organisations to build fair and resilient seed systems.
- - The legislation on GMOs derived from new genetic modification techniques- the so-called New Breeding Techniques- which we believe must be included in the directives on GMOs and subject to GMO risk assessment and labeling.
- - European directives and national legislation on seed trade and exchange between farmers. It is necessary to improve European and national trade regulation and legislation that could affect peasants’ seeds and obtain positive laws protecting farmers’ rights to use, save, exchange and sell their seeds.
- - The need for a united front to curb the Industry offensive seeking to convert the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (TIRFAA) into a biopiracy tool.
- - Seed patents: fight to change the Directive on the patenting of living organisms, since it is totally unacceptable and does not offer any sort of interpretation that allows peasants to defend their rights in the reopened debate on seeds and livestock patents in Europe. It is necessary to prohibit the patentability of “plants and animals products coming essentially from biological process” as well as on their native traits and genetic information.
- - Keep up our work concerning the UN Peasants’ Right Declaration in order to defend ECVC's position on peasants’ rights regarding seeds. It is necessary to also include a reference on a State's right to refuse seeds patents and GMOs, along with the obligation States have to promote and support local peasant seed banks managed by farmers, that also serve to conserve and develop seeds.
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