Mr. SeedGOES TO WASHINGTON
You’ve watched the video, and here’s the thing….Giant agrichemical companies are continuing to consolidate their ownership of seed. During this election year candidates aren’t talking about food and farming…if they won’t represent us, who will? Mr. Seed will take your voice to Washington. Join us in this sign-on letter. Please read the letter, sign, and share on social media.
To: US Department of Justice
CC: USDA and POTUS Candidates
CC: USDA and POTUS Candidates
We – the undersigned organizations, businesses, and individuals – are concerned about ongoing consolidation trends in the seed sector. Already the seed needs of many farmers are not being met due to consolidation stifling innovation in plant breeding and a decades-long decline in federal funding for public plant breeding. US agriculture has become overly reliant on crops bred for pesticides and synthetic fertilizers while ignoring the greater agricultural need and consumer demand for crops that have less of a negative impact on our soil, water, and health. We must take a more diversified approach to crop improvement to develop cultivars that reduce agricultural impact on natural resources, reduce risks of chemical exposure for rural communities, and improve the nutritional quality of our food.
Seed is the foundation of food, and thus food security and food quality. More than ever, we need to invest in seed development that adds diversity and resiliency to American agriculture. The investments made in plant breeding today determine our food future. Placing that future in the hands of a few agrichemical-seed companies is a risky venture. Instead, we should invest in strategies that support future generations of farmers and the communities they feed, and establish a fair and open marketplace for seed.
To do so, we need the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to act. Specifically, we ask for the following:
1. The DOJ should block the proposed merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont, the potential merger of Bayer and Monsanto, and any subsequent merger attempts between the Big Six agrichemical-seed companies (Syngenta, Bayer, BASF, DuPont, Monsanto, and Dow Chemical).
2. We strongly urge state attorneys general to hold hearings on this critical merger and any other potential major agribusiness consolidation mergers so that stakeholders (farmers and other citizens in their states) can fully engage and express their concerns regarding major impacts on the future structure of agriculture, impacts on their livelihoods, and fairness and farmer access to seed choices prior to any such merger agreements.
Please act to ensure that farmers of all kinds have the seed they need. Thousands of farmers spoke out at the 2010 workshops on competition in agriculture hosted by the DOJ and USDA. They expressed frustration with seed choices and prices, and spoke to the loss of regional seed companies and trends in consolidation. Further mergers among the Big Six will not lead to more innovation for these farmers and will instead further narrow seed options and genetic diversity in their fields.
Without your action we risk food insecurity, endanger the future economic success of American agriculture, and ignore consumer demand for a healthier, more just, and sustainable food system.