Plant Breeders Release First ’Open Source Seeds’ : The Salt : NPR
A group of scientists and food activists is launching a campaign Thursday to change the rules that govern seeds. They’re releasing 29 new varieties of crops under a new “open source pledge” that’s intended to safeguard the ability of farmers, gardeners and plant breeders to share those seeds freely.
It’s inspired by the example of open source software, which is freely available for anyone to use but cannot legally be converted into anyone’s proprietary product.
The practical impact of the Open Source Seed Initiative on farmers and gardeners, however, may be limited. Even though anyone can use such seed, most people probably won’t be able to find it.
The companies that dominate the seed business probably will keep selling their own proprietary varieties or hybrids. There’s more money to be made with those seeds.