Working Toward a National Seed Library Protocol & Changing the Seed Laws as Needed

The purpose of this Seed Library Social Network Discussion is Working Toward a National Seed Library Protocol & Changing the Seed Laws as Needed.  It is being set up with the encouragement of Devon Grissim, who founded The Seed Library Social Network site, and Rick Passo, a member of the Las Vegas Seed Library.  Both have been extremely inspiring to me in recent weeks.  I began writing about the Simpson Seed Library-Department of Ag Communications four days after the Draft of proposed Protocols for running the Simpson Library  and Seed Libraries in Pennsylvania were accepted "as is" by the Simpson Seed Library, August 1.

 I went to a number of original sources including Johnny Zook, Seed Program Supervisor, for the PA Department of Ag, and Jonelle Darr, Cumberland County LIbrary Executive Director.  Both of them read over my primary story for accuracy.

PLANTING CLARITY! SIMPSON SEED LIBRARY AND AG DEPT WRAP UP
http://curezone.org/blogs/fm.asp?i=2196853

My most recent Plant Your Dream Blog compiles my latest research that has led me to see it would be wise to come up with a mature well rounded set of National Protocols in support of  Seed Libraries that also allows them to function within existing Seed Laws.  

My strategy when I wrote this was that seed library leaders could work toward a national protocol, building upon the protocols accepted by the Simpson Seed Library. I realize that there are restrictive laws in some states such as CA, that appear to block seed exchanges….the legal minds truly need to be at work here. For the states that are more lenient, I feel the Protocols need to be developed as well as looking toward changes where Seed Laws are needed. August 25, 2014

SEED PROTOCOL DISCUSSION GROUP NOTES 

http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=2197727

COMMUNICATIONS WITH JOHNNY ZOOK, SEED PROGRAM SUPERVISOR, PA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

I have numbers of emails and phone conversations with Johnny Zook.  As of August 27, 2014, my assessment is:  If Seed Laws in some states, such as California, were as lenient as Seed Laws in Pennsylvania,  we would have an easier time moving toward National Protocols without the need to change Seed Laws.  

 I have found Johnny Zook well meaning and accessible.  He has been forthcoming with ideas and suggestions.

In my most recent email of he said:

On Aug 26, 2014, at 5:27 AM, "Zook, Johnny" <jzook@pa.gov> wrote:

I am willing to take suggestions, and if you know people [that] have ideas it would be good for me to have them sooner than later.

Numbers of states are reaching out to him now and they will be modeling their protocols on what the Simpson Library accepted.

The "soon the better" that we discuss here what we want to be accepted.

Leslie Goldman Your Enchanted Gardener Plant Your Dream Blog

NOTE:

 I am new this this editor and will need some lessons on how to use it.  Pardon my layout.

August 27, 2014; 8:08 am

Questions.  When you view Preview, how do you get back to the copy you wrote?

..live and learn…Plant a Seed.  Grow A Whole New World.

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COMMUNICATIONS WITH JOHNNY ZOOK, SEED PROGRAM SUPERVISOR, PA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

I have have numbers of emails and phone conversations with Johnny Zook. As of August 27, 2014, my assessment is: If Seed Laws in some states, such as California, were as lenient as Seed Laws in Pennsylvania, we would have an easier time moving toward National Protocols without the need to change Seed Laws.

I have found Johnny Zook well meaning and accessible. He has been forthcoming with ideas and suggestions.

In my most recent email of he said:

On Aug 26, 2014, at 5:27 AM, "Zook, Johnny" <jzook@pa.gov>wrote:

I am willing to take suggestions, and if you know people [that] have ideas it would be good for me to have them sooner than later.

Numbers of states are reaching out to him now and they will be modeling their protocols on what the Simpson Library accepted.

The "soon the better" that we discuss here what we want to be accepted.

Leslie Goldman Your Enchanted Gardener Plant Your Dream Blog


LATEST EMAIL FROM JOHNNY ZOOK



Subject: RE: Suggested Draft for an additional Protocol and Procedure for adding protocols. Please comment, Johnny.
Date: August 26, 2014 5:27:58 AM PDT
To: Leslie Goldman

Hi Leslie,

However, the protocols get worked out is not so much the issue, but rather does an action(s) cause the activity to be classified as “Seed Distribution”. As long as we can have a logical/reasonable way to say the activity is not seed distribution, then its fine to operate without concern of the Seed Act – speaking for Pennsylvania. Also, in PA, once the Seed Library is big enough it could function within the Seed Act. $25.00 for seed license fee and $7.00 for each 400 seed Germination test would be the ‘cost’; and, not that printing is hard, the seed label can be hand written as long as it is legible.

I am willing to take suggestions, and if you know people have ideas it would be good for me to have them sooner than later.

As to your suggested protocol – it’s more of a mission statement than a protocol – how would it actually work? I get the idea though that you would like something that says a sellect or exclusive group would share/pool seeds to work on developing locally adapted seeds; a members only kind of thing… I guess it would depend on how that is done and if then resulting seeds are kept within the group or if they then share them with the public at large… I don’t know… I need more concrete procedure to evaluate to give a definite answer.

Thanks
Johnny


EMAILS WITH JOHNNY ZOOK
http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=2196941

SEED LAWS IN CA APPEAR TO BE STRICTER THAN IN PENNSYLVANIA



It appears that where Seed Laws in Pennsylvania can be circumvented to allow for seed swaps and Seed Library members to organize their own independent Seed Banks, this is not the case in California

 

This article expresses some concerns

 

WHAT THE SMALL-TIME SELLERS OF SEED NEED TO KNOW BEFORE THEY SELL SEED IN CALIFORNIA



by John Heaton, Senior Agricultural Biologist, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Nursery, Seed and Cotton

For example, the California Seed Law requires persons selling agricultural and vegetable seed to obtain authorization from the Secretary of Agriculture before they sell such seed, regardless of the amount [F&C Division 18, Chapter 2 Section 52351]. The Food and Agriculture code defines “sell” as offering for sale, exposing for sale, possessing for sale, exchanging, bartering, or trading seed. Persons selling agricultural or vegetable seed in California without authorization are in violation of Section 52351 and are subject to enforcement actions by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.



I received this from Johnny Zook on Aug 22.

This looks like Seed Law in CA would make seed exchanges needing to have permits.


http://www.seedquest.com/forum/h/HeatonJohn/default.htm

Johnny Zook | Seed Program Supervisor



August 25, 2014
6:35 pm
http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=2199204

SOME BACKGROUND


A GROWING NUMBER OF SEED LIBRARIES NOW EXIST IN MANY PUBLIC LIBRARIES.


This is the way the Seed Library has been working;

Seed libraries, often located in public libraries or other community gathering points, are institutions created for the purpose of sharing seeds. The idea is that a library patron can “check-out” seeds to grow themselves, let “go-to-seed”, and then return seeds to the library to share with other community members. The seeds circulated at lending libraries are usually regionally-adapted and heirloom (unlike most commercial “hybrid” seeds, so that the next generation of seeds will produce plants similar to the parent plant). The purpose of most seed libraries is to provide an alternative to genetically modified seeds, increase biodiversity and plant resilience, and reconnect local people with their food systems.

from the Seed Library Social Network Site


RETURNING SEEDS TO THE SIMPSON LIBRARY


The issue that surfaced through interactions between the Simpson Seed Library and the Pennsylvania Department of Ag was the problem of returning seeds to the Public Library Seed Library. This brought the Seed Library under regulation through the Seed Law of Pennsylvania that has specific rules for seed distributors, Many States have similar

<a href="http://www.cumberlandcountylibraries.org/sites/default/files/SIM/Documents/Misc/PA_Seed_Act.pdf" rel="nofollow">seed laws </a> that mirror a Federal seed Law.

MANY SEED LIBRARIES BECAME CONCERNED WHEN THE STORY ABOUT THE SIMPSON SEED LIBRARY AND ITS INTERACTIONS WITH THE PENN DEPARTMENT OF AG WENT VIRAL


David King, who founded the Seed Library of Los Angeles, asks the question in one recent Post, "Are Seed Libraries Illegal?" He is heavily quoted on other subjects in Naomi Cleason's August 5 story in the Carlisle Sentinel

http://cumberlink.com/news/agriculture/pa-department-backs-seed-lib...

Others are exploring,

http://www.shareable.net/blog/setting-the-record-straight-on-the-le...

THIS IS MY MOST RECENT EMAIL FROM JOHNNY ZOOK AUGUST 28, 2014

 

In recent weeks, after establishing communication with Johnny Zook, Seed Program Supervisor for the PA Department of Ag, the staff member who initiated the Letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to Simpson L... to let them know about the existence of Seed Laws, and after  numbers of emails,  I introduced him to a Seed Library Leader.  In doing  research on the Suggested Seed Library Protocol from the Pennsylvania Department of... that were accepted "as is" by the Simpson Seed Library, it became clear that additional Protocols were needed that would meet the needs of Seed Libraries.  These Four Questions from Johnny Zook of Aug 28, 2014,  are intended to Help Develop a National Seed Library Protocol.
On Aug 28, 2014, at 12:23 PM, "Zook, Johnny" <jzook@pa.gov> wrote:

Hi Leslie,

Because the Seed Library issue is getting a lot of publicity, I think it is putting pressure on a number of States to consider how Seed Libraries relate (or will relate) to their Seed Laws.

With this in mind, I think it’s important everyone involved to be open to discussion and to be responsive to those discussions so that Seed Libraries’ concerns can be part of the formative process of working out the relationship between Seed Libraries – and the various Seed Laws.

Regards
Johnny

JOHNY ZOOK'S QUESTIONS FOR SEED LIBRARY LEADERS 

On Aug 28, 2014, at 10:51 AM, "Zook, Johnny"  wrote:
I’m trying to get a thoughtful response to some questions on Seed Libraries. I would very much appreciate your thoughts/concerns/suggestions.

1) One can develop local eco-type adapted seeds by simply obtaining one’s initial starter seed from a swap of locally harvested seeds – I believe this would answer the diversity concern. What do you think?

2) Every Seed Library protocol I have read online says that if you aren’t able to “return” harvested seed to the Seed Library; either give a donation so heirloom seeds can be purchased or buy heirloom seed yourself to return – no different than the protocol having the Library provided heirloom seeds – Or am I missing something here?

3) Why insist on a single collection point of seed? Wouldn’t having the members of the Seed Library store the seed make for a more robust system? Seeds stored at any single location are susceptible to a total-loss incident and years of adapting seeds to local climate and local taste could be completely lost.

4) Some people have said to me that not being able to “return” the seed to the library destroys the Seed Library – why? The Library still has an important role to play in outreach, tracking and organizing of seed’s and member’s information, Seed swap location/meeting place, seed growing/saving/storage education and resources, diversity education, promoting communal sharing, etc… Having more people capable of storing seed means more freedom and more security. In other words, why do some people consider having the harvested seeds returned to the library essential?
Thanks
Johnny

Johnny Zook | Seed Program Supervisor
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Bureau of Plant Industry

 

ALL EMAILS FROM JOHNNY ZOOK, SEED PROGRAM SUPERVISOR, PENN DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

PLANT YOUR DREAM BLOG WITH JOHNNY ZOOK'S  EMAILS

http://curezone.com/blogs/fm.asp?i=2196941

Added here, Sunday, August 31, 2014

I am honored to have Professor Devon Peña entering the national conversation on Seed Saving, Support of Seed Libraries, and GMO Education that I believe with come out this:

Here Is his writing called "Seed Library Social Network calls for discourse." 

He says that" Biopiracy And Gmo Biosafety Must Be Addressed"
Devon G. Peña | Las Colonias de San Pablo, CO | August 31, 2014
http://ejfood.blogspot.com/2014/08/seed-sovereignty-grassroots-seed...

In his important article, he says, " The development of a National Seed Library Protocol is a significant initiative and organizing campaigns toward what is really a Seed Common have been made several times before. Often overlooked in the retelling are the indigenous and immigrant farmers who make up a significant source of heirloom seed biodiversity. The Traditional Native American Farmers (TNAF) and the New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA) released their “Declaration of Seed Sovereignty” in 2006; we posted this Declaration on June 6, 2010. That declaration makes clear that seed saving and exchange is an indigenous practice that cannot be legislated away by advocates of modern agribusiness."

Professor Devon Peña came onto my radar earlier last year when he broke the story that Mexico was about to outlaw Gmo's. I announced this event when I spoke on stage at the March Against Monsanto, San Diego last fall.

It is a great honor to welcome Devon Peña to the discussion of giving important insights that could be included to produce a more mature national set of Protocols for Seed Libraries. Please begin getting educated about tSeed Libraries and help answer Johnny Zook's four questions that are reprinted on this Plant Your Dream Blog and on the Seed Library Social Network Site: 
http://seedlibraries.org/forum/topics/working-toward-a-national-pro...

Here are Devon Peña credentials
https://www.linkedin.com/pub/devon-peña/9/373/838

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 7.31.28 PM

More about the story about Mexico banning Gmo's:
http://www.nationofchange.org/mexico-bans-gmo-corn-effective-immedi...

Added here September 2, 2014

1:14 pm

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