skogsdjur said: Hi Biodivseed, have you been following the debate about a 'TTIP' between the USA and EU? Whereas concerns from Supermiljöbloggen and others, point towards a higher control with seeds/biomaterial. Plainly it may include laws against "uncertified" (read: none corporate) biomaterials. (sorry for badly formulated English.)
Du kan godt skriver på svensk hvis det er nemmere! Jeg kan også skrive lidt på dansk, hvis du kan læse det. Men nu vil jeg svare på engelsk:
I send very small packages of seed around the world, and I always make sure I am not shipping invasive species, soil, or fungal hitchhikers. I’m careful and responsible. My packages haven’t been stopped yet, partially because I think they are camouflaged in normal mail.
However, what I’m doing is illegal in the EU.
The effect these agreements have is allowing corporations to ship invasive and non-diverse seed stock with impunity, and lobby to restrict private individuals from selling or swapping their legally-obtained plant materials. It’s ridiculous: around 50% of the world’s seed supply is controlled by three multinationals, and around 70% of it is controlled by 10. I think this has catastrophic implications for biodiversity and food sovereignty. It’s like we’re begging for genetic bottlenecks in our food supply. Agribusiness giants have a huge lobbying force that attempts to patent and make purchaseable things that were formerly in the commons.
It costs between $50 to $300 for a private individual to get a phytosanitary certificate, every time, for every plant. Corporations can get a blanket phytosanitary approval.
Being in the immigration system, I am not legally allowed to start a business. I would if I could to make things easier, but there is no making money in being a small-scale, responsible seed supplier: up against agribusiness giants you will always be running a deficit, and jumping through regulatory hoops that are designed to keep competition against these companies at a minimum.
These trade agreement exacerbate that, because there are always articles hidden in the fine print that protect corporate interests. If you’re a 20-something immigrant swapping free seeds on the internet (like me) there is no legal recourse or lobby for your interests. I want to give stuff away for free, or next to nothing, but that doesn’t produce wealth for anyone but me and the person I am swapping with, so it has to be regulated out of existence.