Sunday, November 28, 2010

Guerrilla Gardening

I have been re-reading Guerrrilla Gardening by John F. Adams, which was published in 1983.  Recently I posted about Senate Bill S410, and the alarm it was causing in some circles.  John F. Adams raised alarms about legislation of another kind.  He wrote:

"Another trend that threatens traditional seeds is downright Orwellian.  Although individual companies do develop and claim ownership of new varieties, basically, except for some ornamental varieties such as roses, plants and seed have always been, in whatever variety they grew, public property.  In recent years there has been a movement to pass laws all over the world, but especially in Europe and North America, that would effectively take ownership of plant species out of the public domain and make such ownership private and commercial.  Because the subtle differences between similar varieties of plants makes legal distinctions extremely difficult, there is a movement of members ot he European Common Market to restrict varieties of plants that can be grown to those listed in the "Common Catalog"...."

Although it has been 27 years since Adams penned those words, it was kind of chilling to read.