US Seed Libraries Mobilize to Protect Their Right to Share

In June, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture alerted the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg that their seed library was in violation of the Pennsylvania Seed Act of 2004. According to officials, the library would have to follow the prohibitively expensive procedures of large-scale commercial seed companies or only offer commercial seed. The first option is impractical and the second option would gut the exchange of its primary purpose to serve home gardeners who want to save and exchange their own seed. 

The Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) reported in a recent article on Shareable.net that the Pennsylvania law may only apply to commercial seed operations. Despite what may be an incorrect interpretation of the law, other states are now considering adopting Pennsylvania's seed library protocol. This could kill a fast growing U.S. seed library movement. 

The upside to the crackdown is that in the weeks since, seed librarians from across the country have come together. As David King, founder of the Seed Library of Los Angeles (SLOLA) puts it, “The phone lines and emails lines were burning up as the seed library community turned from shock and disbelief to mobilizing to protect their efforts.”

Read the full article at Shareable

 

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