Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolai Vavilov's Quest to End Famine Gary Paul Nabhan
About 7,000 different species of plants have been raised as food crops in the history of human agriculture. 1 1 United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. Agricultural Biodiversity: Introduction. 2005 Original Agricultural Diversity
“3,000-5,000 species of food plants were used by North American Indians.” 2 2 Richard Felger, Gary Nabhan, Shattering, 1990 Original Agricultural Diversity
12 plants supply 75% of the food consumed in the world. 4 3 plants are now relied upon for more than 50% of the world’s food; rice, wheat, and corn. 4 4 International Development Research Centre. Facts and Figures on Food and Biodiversity. (accessed October 12, 2006) Food Today
“The greatest service which can be rendered to any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” - Thomas Jefferson
1861 The Patent and Trade Office had annual distribution of more than 2.4 million packages of seed. 1862 The Morrill Act 1883 American Seed Trade Association (ASTA) formed and immediately lobbied for the cessation of the government programs. 1897 1.1 billion packets of seed distributed.
In 1924, after more than 40 years of lobbying, ASTA succeeded in convincing Congress to cut the USDA seed distribution programs.
1930 The Plant Patent Act - clones 1970 The Plant Variety Protection Act - seed propagated crops. 1 1980 U.S. Supreme Court - allow genetics in a plant to be patented. 1 1992 The Coordinated Framework - no new laws would be passed to regulate biotechnology. 2 2000 Utility patent protection extended to plants. 1 1 Dr. James R. Myers, Dept. of Horticulture, Oregon State University, 4017 ALS, University-based PublicPlant Breeding: Past, Present and Future Role of Public Institutions in Crop Improvement. 2 Claire Hope Cummings, Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds Important Legal Moments
Monsanto 26% DuPont Pioneer 18.2% Syngenta 9.2% Vilmorin 4.8% All Other 24.7% Winfield 3.9% KWS 3.6% Bayer 3.3% Dow 3.1% Sakata 1.6% Takii 1.6% 3 companies control more than half (53%) of the global commercial market for seed. The top 10 companies account for 73% of the global market (up from 67% in 2007). Source: ETC Group, Phillips McDougall http://www.etcgroup.org/ World’s Top 10 Seed Companies, 2011
Monsanto 26% DuPont Pioneer 18.2% Syngenta 9.2% Vilmorin 4.8% All Other 24.7% Winfield 3.9% KWS 3.6% Bayer 3.3% Dow 3.1% Sakata 1.6% Takii 1.6% 3 companies control (72%) of the global commercial market for seed.
“This Open Source Seed pledge is intended to ensure your freedom to use the seed contained herein in any way you choose, and to make sure those freedoms are enjoyed by all subsequent users. By opening this packet, you pledge that you will not restrict others’ use of these seeds and their derivatives by patents, licenses, or any other means.”
“The seeds in this packet are not to be used for commercial breeding purposes with a patent outcome unless there are written agreements with the originators of the seeds in Native Seeds/SEARCH's collection.”