Keeping Seeds in Peoples' Hands
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EP Launch Event & Debate 16 November 2016
The findings of the Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2016 entitled “Keeping Seeds in Peoples’ hands” highlight examples of Latin America and Asia demonstrating how farm-saved seeds systems have fed most world population and increased agro-biodiversity for centuries. The report also highlights the manifold role of African women farmers as seed custodians, plant breeders and herbalists; and as experts on both domesticated and wild biodiversity. However, these informal seed systems are now at risk.
The report exposes how trade agreements, international legal frameworks related to Intellectual Property Rights (UPOV 1991) and business seek to privatise, monopolise and control seeds by patenting and commodifying this very source of life at the expense of peoples' human rights and the maintenance of biodiversity. It shows that farmers’ and peasant seeds systems, which feed the world and are resilient in times of natural disasters, are at risk, and calls upon states to adopt stronger policies and laws that recognise and protect farmers’ rights to save, use, exchange and sell seeds.
Draft Programme
• Welcome by MEP Maria Heubuch and MEP Maria Noichl
• Bernhard Walter (Bread for the World) on behalf of the Global Watch consortium
• Sofia Monsalve (FIAN International, Colombia)
• Guy Kastler (Réseau Semences Paysannes)
• Emile Frison (on behalf of GAFF-Global Alliance on the Future of Food)
• European Commission official, DG DEVCO
• Susanne Gura (APBREBES) as respondent
• Chairing and Conclusions by MEP Bart Staes

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