(Zachary Shahan published this article in Clean Technica on April 13, 2013)
While we don’t generally inch into the food or agriculture realm too often, we have done so a handful of times (and biotech does count as tech in some circles). In my opinion, and that of many scientists, the safety of GMOs is not yet confirmed (which is partly why they are still nearly banned in Europe). Furthermore, on the socioeconomic side of things, I’m frankly not all that into a few companies monopolizing our food supply, which is what companies such as Monsanto have targeted. So, to support a great project to create an “open data catalog of seeds,” I’m sharing this post below. The project just has a few days left to hit its crowdfunding target, so if you are into it and have some money to spare, drop them some change via the link above.
Urbsly — Fund This Open Data Catalog Of Seeds
by Zachary Shahan
While we all play on our computers, watch movies and TV, and… blog, one of the key components of our life support system is increasingly controlled (even owned) by a small handful of companies.
As you probably gathered from the title, I’m talking about the essence of our food system, our seeds. As an example, “Monsanto control over more than 30 percent of the North American vegetable seed market, as well as more than 20 percent of the world’s tomato seed market and more than 30 percent of the global hot pepper seed market,” Sierra Permaculture Design writes.
Monsanto and others at the top of this core, life-sustaining market fight hard to maintain their monopolies and even grow their domination of the system (of course, backed up by their massive piggy banks), often successfully. While rogue activists and even Anonymous try to fight back, one of the best weapons for the fight is simply to garden, using seeds from the small guys and girls. And a friend of a friend has a project aimed at helping everyone with this, Urbsly:
To help fund this project, head on over to Openfire right now.
Here’s a quick text summary of the project (from the Openfire page): “Urbsly’s first goal is to compile an open data catalog of seed varieties. Creating an open data set that anyone can use and build upon begins to make it much easier for gardeners and farmers to find the plant varieties available from independent seed companies that will grow well for them, reducing their reliance on the agribusiness giants.”
There’s much more information about Urbsly over on the funding page, so rather than suck up your time repeating it, I’ll just urge you one more time to get your ass over there!