Protecting Seed Ethically

An ahead-of-the-curve citizens’ movement – leaving failed governmental seed patent plodding behind – encourages cutting edge seed breeding and permanently protects the resulting seed genetics by re-securing seed back into the Commons where for hundreds of generations seed has resided, blessed by collective and collaborative human ownership. Jim

“…The Open Source Seed Initiative, inspired by ‘the free and open source software movement that has provided alternatives to proprietary software,’ was created to ensure that some plant varieties and genes will remain free from intellectual property rights and available for plant breeders in perpetuity. As part of the initiative, commonly known as OSSI, U.S. breeders can take a pledge that commits the seeds they produce to remain available for others to use for breeding in the future.

“That doesn’t mean they can’t build a business with or sell them. What the pledge does is allow farmers who buy seeds from an open-source breeder to cross them with other material to breed their own varieties and save them for future seasons — two things many crop patents forbid. Dozens of breeders and seed companies have committed to OSSI since the initiative’s launch in 2014…

“Furthermore, Morton takes issue with the very concept of patenting a plant trait. ‘You didn’t actually create it,’ he says. ‘The plant created it, and the plant breeder has no idea how the plant created that trait. It is just nature at work.'”