At the heart of the seed issue, which started in June when agriculture officials in Pennsylvania cracked down on the Joseph T. Simpson public library’s seed library, is that a number of states are now applying laws meant for big, commercial seed producers to small, citizen-run seed libraries. The concern among seed activists is that seed libraries (about 300 in the U.S.) will be regulated out of existence if this trend continues.
“The goal [of seed sharing],” says Thapar, “is to preserve and promote genetic diversity by having people grow tons of different plants all over the place rather than having one single crop being grown on a massive scale that becomes more and more susceptible to a shock to the system and it will be harder and harder to recover from.” He adds, “It represents a strategy that we have to follow if we want to develop a more resilient agricultural system.”
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