I’m speaking with Fabio Parasecoli about his new book, Gastronativism: Food, Identity, Politics, at the Museum of the City of New York at a session chaired by Krishnendu Ray at 6:30 pm. Information is here and the ticketing link is here. This is a preview of the museum’s forthcoming exhibit, Food in New York: Bigger Than the Plate (opening September 16) and is co-presented by MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink).
No patents on seeds!
Carmelo Ruiz, who blogs about agricultural issues from his bilingual base in Puerto Rico, sends information about the “no- patents-on-seeds” coalition. This group of European advocates for open sharing of seeds and breeding methods has produced an excellent new report: The Future of Seeds and Food. Here is a terrific summary of the current patent situation, the growing concentration of the seed industry, the legal situation (not pretty), and ideas for doing something about it.
Patents, says the report, block innovation and access to essential genetic resources, and they “foster market concentration, hamper competition, and serve to promote unjust monopoly rights.” To address world hunger, open systems of plant and animal breeding would work much better.
If you, as I do, find issues of genetic patenting uncomfortably arcane, check out this report. It makes clear why such patents matter and why something urgently needs to be done about them in Europe as well as in the U.S.