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Freedom of Information in the Genetically Modified Age:

The Law of Seeds Preamble

Beth Grossman
Beth Grossman scribing at the Queens Botanical Garden as part of the 12 x 12 Artists' Residency



Activist artist Beth Grossman is calling attention to the genetically engineered seeds that are having a huge impact on food sources worldwide. Brisbane, California has decided to act locally and think globally by adopting a BILL OF SEED RIGHTS Proclamation and commemorating it with an art exhibit.

Grossman is using this art project to call attention to the necessity of national and international “seed law” to protect plant bio-diversity and the rights of individuals to save seed, keeping them in the public domain. She has compiled a Bill of Rights for Seeds and is sharing it as a visual art exhibit that debuted at Brisbane City Hall and will tour around the United States. She enlisted Brisbane city government to become the first U.S. city to adopt her Bill of Rights for Seeds. This Proclamation was presented by Mayor Clarke Conway at a public reception at Brisbane City Hall.

Grossman was inspired by the constitutions of Bolivia and Ecuador, each of which includes Articles on the Rights of Nature. She compiled a Bill of Rights specifically for seeds and then scribed them with a quill pen on ten vintage seed bags that are also painted with images of the stages of germinating corn from seed to mature plant.

Beth Grossman - Law of Seed - 1

The Law of Seeds is a traveling art exhibit that will be featured at botanical gardens, city halls, libraries and natural history museums. Artist Beth Grossman invites the public to appreciate the wonders of seeds and engage in a discussion on the importance of protecting this precious source of our food chain. As the exhibit tours, Grossman wishes to encourage each city to develop, adopt and enforce seed law. In conjunction with this exhibit, some cities will host "Seed Exchange" events where the public can learn about the importance of open pollinating seed for ongoing regeneration. The Law of Seeds is about our accountability to future generations and ensuring that nature’s seed cycle will carry on.

Here is the text of the Bill of Rights:

We the Peoples of this Earth

Gratefully Honor the Ancient Knowledge of Seeds that Nourish and Sustain All Living Beings.

1. Seed is the source of life. It is the yearning of life to express itself, to renew, multiply and evolve. We recognize the right of seeds to maintain their vital cycles.

2. We respect the right of seeds to retain their unique identity as distinct, self-regulating organisms.

3. Seeds shall enjoy the right to clean water, the essential element for all life.

4. All seeds shall be guaranteed the right of clean air to germinate, prosper and regenerate.

5. The right of seeds to grow on land free from contamination, pollution, toxic or radioactive waste shall not be infringed.

6. Seeds deserve full and prompt restoration from any violation of these rights caused by human activities.

7. No entity shall deprive seeds of the freedom to bear fruit according to their nature. Genetic engineering threatens their vital drive to regenerate.

8. Any law that makes seed the property of corporations will not be recognized. No patents shall be granted on natural organisms.

9. Open source seed and the sharing of seed by creating community seed banks and seed libraries shall remain a global right.

10. Humans shall work in harmony with nature to create renewing systems for food, energy, climate balance and financial security.

Compiled by Beth Grossman in Brisbane, California, © 2014 Beth Grossman

Beth Grossman's Law of Seeds Proclamation at Brisbane City Hall

Beth Grossman - We respect the rights of seeds Beth Grossman - Seed shall enjoy the right to clean water
Beth Grossman - All seed shall be guranteed to clean air Beth Grossman - the right of seed free on land to bear fruit and free from contamination
Beth Grossman - No entity should deprive to bear fruit of seed on land Beth Grossman - Human should choose work with nature

The Law of Seeds

Art by Beth Grossman

Exhibited at Brisbane City Hall
50 Park Place,
Brisbane, CA 94005 in April 2014


Beth Grossman uses art and participatory performance as a creative force to stimulate conversation and focus attention on the environment, interpretation of history and civic engagement – all aimed at raising awareness, building community and encouraging public participation. Based in Brisbane, California, she has artistically collaborated internationally with individuals, communities, corporations, non-profits and museums.
Please contact Beth through her website if you would like to bring this project to your community.

The City of Brisbane, nestled in the slopes of San Bruno Mountain, saw in its first settlers a self-determined and independent spirit, and because of its close proximity to the Mountain and the Bay, the City was and continues to be a community that is keenly aware of the finite nature of resources, carefully managing the present to protect the future. Law_of_Seeds_Brisbane_City_Hall3_10_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3d81c6d 3c4-5741bd74f6-

Copyright ©2014 - Beth Grossman, All rights reserved.


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