Should Farmers Be Able to Collect Seeds That Are Patented?

Farmers produce everything that we eat, everything from the plants to meats, they plant the seed to then take care of the seed for a season and finally collect the crop to be sold to us. They are essential to the survival of crops and everything that we eat. The sad thing is that farmers are the ones that are mistreated and controlled by debt. Farmers buy a lot of land and seeds to produce; debt comes from these things. Even with everything they do farmers have to continue suffering at the hands on big corporations. The one thing that affects everything that farmers do is seeds. Seeds are actually being controlled now by a company called Monsanto that actually has a seed patent for their genetically modified soybeans and others. This doesn’t allow farmers to collect the seeds from the crops they produced with the seeds they already bought from Monsanto, therefore, forcing farmers to buy seeds again and again. The prices are controlled by Monsanto meaning they can change at any time. Companies should not be able to own the DNA contained in plant seeds due to the nature of the farmer growing the seeds and taking care of it to simply to have to buy more seeds when the products seeds are the product of their hard work.

Saving the seeds would enable much more farmers with the ability to gain more profit that would then help them with all of the debt that they have. Debt due to the land that is owned that is always bought with loans. Patented seeds also affect those that don’t use the seed. Farmers who are close enough to farmers with patented seeds can actually end up with seeds that are modified by Monsanto. The seeds could have ended up there by winds, birds, other animals. This causes the farmers to suffer and have to pay Monsanto money because they ended up with their seed. Farmers should have every right to collect seeds from produce that they cultivated and grew. A journal article by Jen Fela states the Chile strived to protect “the rights of small farmers and the country’s seed heritage.” Chile withdrew the controversial seed patent law that is also known as the “Monsanto law.” This law protected Monsanto’s patented seeds. Chile secures their farmers before the greed of Monsanto.

Farmers should have the ability to collect the seed of genetically modified crops because they cultivate the seeds and ensure its survival. Monsanto should not be able to control all aspects of the seeds after they are sold. If something is bought once why would you have to keep buying it over and over again. Collecting seeds should be a right protected for the farmers. The US should not allow Monsanto to threaten farmers. Farmers produce what we eat, therefore, we should protect them.

~Michelle Garza

  1. Fela, Jen. “Chile Withdraws Controversial Seed Patent Law.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 12, no. 4, 2014, pp. 205–205. Accessed 4 Apr. 2017.
  2. Hubbard, Kristina. “HISTORY OF U.S. SEED DEVELOPMENT AND PATENT REGIMES.” Center for Food Safety. Accessed April 18, 2017.
  3. Fig. 1. Beans in hand.