Sufi Books & DVDs

Seed: the Untold Story – Film Review

Mankind always had free and direct access to the basis of our food supply chain – seeds. For thousands of years seeds were freely exchanged, but this began to change in the 1890’s.

American seed companies reacted strongly when the US Department of Agriculture, which had a spectacularly successful seed improvement research program, distributed 1 billion packets of seeds to farmers. American seed companies responded by hiring the world’s first lobbyist in Washington to oppose these giveaways.

Hybridisation was the next step towards seed control followed by genetically modified seeds. Because seeds can’t be collected from the plants of these types of seeds, like they could before with natural seeds and plants (now called ‘heirloom seeds’), farmers have to return to the seed companies to buy seeds, each time they wish to plant a crop.

The consequences in the US are the following:-

  • 90% of food eaten is owned by chemical companies. This transfer of ownership has occurred in the last 35 years, since the courts allowed the patenting of life forms, i.e. seeds.
  • 94% of the vegetable seed varieties have been lost in the 20th century. Genetic diversity is the hedge between us and global famine.
  • 98% of asparagus, 96% of corn and celery, 90% of capsicums, 94% of onion, radish and cucumber varieties have been lost.

In India, farmers replaced traditional cotton varieties with GM cotton, forcing them into debt. Having lost their original seed strains, they were unable to return to their proven agricultural systems and hundreds of thousands of farmers committed suicide.

Diversity in seed stocks is as endangered as a panda, an eagle or a polar bear. This DVD explains these important developments in the basis of our food supply chain – seeds.