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the privatisation of
A quarter of a century ago, Canada had a public seed system
in the full
sense of the word. Our seed supply was the result of a free flow of seeds
among farmers and formal breeders, within Canada and abroad. Over the past
twenty-five years, however, the Canadian seed system has been radically
transformed and our government is dangerously close to turning over our
public seed system, and the options for the future that go with it, to a
handful of transnational corporations.
Through patents and other intellectual property regimes, corporate tactics,
and government manoeuvering, our public goods are being destroyed to make
way for private profit and the seed saving and plant breeding practices at
the heart of our seed system are being criminalised. This paper provides
an overview of the various ways in which this process is happening and
discusses some of the consequences.