[image-4]Published January 03, 2008.
Good Crop / Bad Crop
Between the Lines
This slim book (124 pages) is a manifesto, a call for Canadians to rise up against the cabal of multinational corporations that have hijacked national agricultural policies.
For thousands of years, seed development was in the hands of farmers, who saved seed from each harvest for the next year, freely traded among themselves and developed plant varieties suited to local conditions. But in recent decades, seed policy in Canada has been taken over by a handful of transnational agribusiness firms. These companies are concerned only about developing and selling seeds that, through licensing agreements and patent controls, increase profits of the fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide sales that make up the bulk of their business. To this end, corporate and government policy is now geared to limiting farmer freedom—even to the point of making it illegal to save seed from one harvest to the next. This is a trend that threatens nothing less than the future of food on planet Earth.
I have quibbles with this book: historical price changes should be indexed to inflation, it needs a cheat sheet for its many acronyms, and the use of anonymous quotes grates on my journalistic ears. But these problems are minor compared to the urgency conveyed.