Within a seed is a potential life form, each seed having a unique expression as a tree, a bush, a vegetable, a grain or a flower. Within each of these is a myriad of colours, shapes, textures, and function – to clothe, feed, heal, create beauty, provide shade and shelter, materials to build and so forth. But the one characteristic common to all plants that Nature has created, is its ability to reproduce itself by reprogramming all its characteristics within its seed.
We probably all take it for granted that a plant produces seeds that we can then collect and save. Usually, each plant produces an abundance of seeds, more than enough to guarantee the perpetuation of its species. Nature is always generous and gives its seed to any who care to collect and plant. There are no restrictions on who can have it. Control the production of seed by restricting its distribution and you control everyone. So where did the idea of controlling seed production come from?
When you consider the power within seeds to provide food, clothing, and shelter, it is an extremely valuable commodity. Seeds are essential for your survival and even more valuable than gold. No amount of gold will buy food that isn’t available!
Instead of seeds being readily available to all, they have been ‘engineered’ to create a marketing opportunity.
A hybrid seed can no longer reproduce itself, e.g., corn. All the corn seed you buy from the seed strands will reproduce a crop of corncobs, but you cannot save this seed and plant it next season. Or if you do, you will have a sterile corn plant – lots of green leaves but no cobs that would have been food and seed for the next planting. Now this situation is true of all hybrid seed varieties and usually the vegetables generally available commercially – corn, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, etc with more being added each year. The irony of the situation is they are marketed as a more vigorous growing variety.
Some years ago, in Australia, open pollinated corn (non-hybrid) is not available in seed retail companies. Was the corn being saved for replanting at some time in our history or they wouldn’t have had the seed to hybridise. But where was it? Fortunately, now through Seed Network and Organic Seed Producers, the stocks have increased to include many valuable open pollinated corn varieties and hundreds of other plant species.
We were told that if I did find any corn seed it wouldn’t taste any good – the hybrid gave the flavour. Well, experience has proven that this is not true either. Nature always gives flavour to its foods when properly grown and in its usual way of perfection, has provided the five main tastes that create an internal balance within your body system. Vegetables or fruits that lack sweetness or flavour have either been picked green or grown on depleted soils.
The hybrid seed business is a billion-dollar industry. Therefore, it is not surprising that large multinational companies are involved.
Most grains and seeds for food crops are hybridised making it necessary for the grower (commercial or back yard), to buy in seed each year. The hard sell of higher yields has been convincing. Seed patents have also been introduced to protect an industry that threatens to destroy what has taken thousands of years to develop, probably much longer. Quite a paradox when you consider how there is a strong move to free up markets and allow free trade!
Genetically Altered Seed
it had its beginnings with the wheat grain when CSIRO set out to produce a strain of wheat that would be rust resistant, and tall and straight for mechanical harvesting. This takes it yet another step on from hybridising, beyond its way of growing to include changes in its genetic structure – its height.
If the symptom ‘rust’ had been recognised as nature’s warning that the soils were depleted, the simple solution would have been to rebuild the soils, (preferably with rock dust). Instead, they planted a genetically altered wheat grain and continued to plough in more superphosphate, killing off the microorganisms, which released the soil’s elements for the plant to use, polluting the waterways in run off, and generally bankrupting the soil. And no wonder so many people are now allergic to wheat. There’s nothing wrong with the wheat grain. It’s what has been done to it, and many people’s bodies are rejecting it!
As a result of all this, there are now only a few varieties of wheat seed that can be relied on as commercial grain seed and if these fail, there aren’t the traditional varieties to fall back on. Nature won’t produce a famine, but people’s greed will. Genetic engineering of seed and plants are now in full swing. Scientists are ignoring Nature’s protective demarcations and now cross animal genes with plants, even using human genes in animal production!
All this manipulation of genes has been justified by saying that it is what you, the customer wants. For example:
*You want a firm ripe tomato that looks good in the shop, but did you want it containing a fish gene?
*You want food that doesn’t spoil – lasts indefinitely. Now that sounds like a neat idea – then you could go shopping once a month! However, it is the action of decomposing that is essential in the process of digestion. It’s also an excellent way of determining freshness! Many digestive problems began with the introduction of preservatives that inhibit the breakdown of food in our digestive tract. Instead, it putrefies.
Current seed catalogue is now full of hybrid seeds with old varieties not unavailable. This sends a warning signal, loud and clear. Other changes have resulted in the closure of seed savers group. Meanwhile the growers are being pushed to the wall because they are now dependent on others to supply them with seed at premium prices. Once growers changed to hybrid seed, they were locked in. it’s a bit late now to realise they should have saved their open pollinating seed varieties.
A seed has within it the qualities that Nature gave it, and for a good reason. Chemical agricultural practices weaken plants. To genetically alter a plant so that it can better accommodate the chemicals used is perverted.
Ingesting devitalised foods erodes people’s health. You are all aware of the effect of chemical fertilisers and poisonous spraying programmes, but is there a connection between the high level of infertility in the population and foods now produced from hybrid seed stock?
The commercial production of open pollinated seeds seems no longer to be a viable business. Big business is only interested in producing hybrid. It is now up to home gardeners to help grow the open pollinated varieties. Natural cross-pollination has occurred to create a rich diversity in seeds, but this is now diminishing rapidly. Many seed varieties have been lost, e.g., peas. I guess the frozen pea industry had something to do with this, just as a breakfast cereal processor was behind the hybrid corn.
In the rush to fulfil our busy lives, we don’t always take the time to stop and ask questions about how out foods are being grown. Let’s not ignore this situation any longer or you may find that the saving of open pollinated seeds is no longer possible. And what will the bees do? Go on the dole?
*They have been hybridised – made to become infertile
*They are being genetically changed to suit the commercial interests of the grower and retailer