California Grange: Seed Freedom Day
JULY 1, 2015
Farmers and Consumers Unite!
In support of small farmers and consumers the California Grange will sponsor Seed Freedom Day on July 1, 2015.
AB2470 was passed by the California State legislature last summer. This legislation is bad law and seriously impairs the right of farmers to share and sell their seeds, gives the Secretary of Agriculture authority to decide what foods we can and cannot grow in California counties and cities, and supports the notion that corporations have the same rights as people.
The legislation makes it illegal for a farmer to distribute their seeds beyond three miles from their farm, unless they adhere to a strict and onerous packaging process. Under this law, a farmer is not allowed to share seeds at a swap meet that takes place more than three miles away, or make a gift of seeds to a friend who lives more than three miles down the road without jumping through the same hoops that a big commercial seed retailer does – like Monsanto.
Under AB2470, any ordinance adopted by a county or municipality after January 1, 2015 that would restrict the production of GMO crops is subject to approval by the Secretary of Agriculture.
“AB2470 was intended to be a weed abatement bill,” warns California Grange President Bob McFarland, “but in black & white the bill goes far beyond that purpose and becomes another set of onerous regulations that undermine the work of small farmers. Under this bill, agricultural freedoms that have been practiced by humankind for 10,000 years are aborted.”
On July 1, the California Grange will sponsor Seed Freedom Day. Farmers and consumers across the state will celebrate our agricultural heritage. In an act of civil disobedience, farmers will draw a white line exactly three miles from their farm and stand inside that line holding seeds they’ve produced. At exactly twelve noon, the farmers and supporters will simultaneously step across the three mile line with seeds in hand, in defiance of the unfair provisions of AB2470.
For more information and to participate in Seed Freedom Day, go to www.californiagrange.org/seeds or phone the office of the California Grange at (916) 454-5805.