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Saturday, April 29 • 09:00 - 09:20
Freeing the Seed, Sowing the Commons

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The Open Source Seed Initiative (OSSI) has piloted a practical model for using copyleft tools to create a pool of crop varieties that must remain freely accessible in a “protected commons” for use and improvement by farmers, gardeners and plant scientists. OSSI now comprises 36 plant breeders and 43 seed companies in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the UK, and is working with sister initiatives in India and Germany. Learn how OSSI is challenging the rampant patenting of plant varieties and why Monsanto’s breeders have called OSSI varieties “too contagious to touch.” Help us sow the commons with "freed seed."

avatar for Tom Michaels

Tom Michaels

Professor, University of Minnesota and Board of Directors, OSSI
I'm a public sector horticulturist who breeds dry beans for use in organic production systems. Back in the 90s as intellectual property rights were extended to biotech crops I anticipated future seed access issues and proposed General Public License for Plant Germplasm as a protected... Read More →

Saturday April 29, 2017 09:00 - 09:20 EDT
Harbourfront Room