Open Source Seed Initiative

This is a page about Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI)   If you are looking for their site please click on the link to Open Source Seed Initiative

Fewer and fewer companies account for more and more of the world’s commercial plant breeding and seed sales. Patented seeds and restrictive contracts are used to enhance the power and control of these seed companies over the seeds and the farmers that feed the world.

 

Patented and protected seeds often cannot be legally saved, replanted, or shared by farmers and gardeners or improved by plant breeders. If plant breeders are not allowed to continue to select and breed with plant genetic diversity, the new crop varieties that should be the foundation of a just and sustainable agriculture are harder to develop and less genetically diverse.

 

The Open Source Seed initiative (OSSI) was inspired by the free and open source software movement that has provided alternatives to proprietary software.  OSSI was created to free the seed! – to make sure that the genes in at least some seed can never be locked away from use by intellectual property rights and that they can continue to be grown, saved, bred with etc.

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

OSSI counterbalances the trend towards patenting and restricting the use of seeds and the rights of farmers and gardeners who grow them. Over the past 30 years, patents, licenses and other restrictions on the uses of seed have spread to many parts of the world. These critically important genetic resources may become so legally encumbered that farmers and gardeners may be unable to do more than the equivalent of renting seeds from multinational seed companies. The purchase of many varieties of corn, soybean, sugarbeet, and cotton seeds in the U.S. constitutes a one-time rental of the seed for a single cropping season. “Bag tag” licenses prevent farmers from saving, replanting, breeding, and sharing seed that has been rented.   Plant breeders are prohibited from using these patented seeds to improve our crops and protect them from pests and diseases. These legal restrictions on seeds benefit a few seed companies but jeopardize the freedom of everyone else to use this critically important natural resource.

 

Open Source Seed Initiative is working to make sure as many seeds remain open source seeds as possible.  Seed companies and individuals that take the Open Source Seed Initiative Pledge are committing to do the same thing.