"Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds'"

"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.

At an event on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, backers of the new Open Source Seed Initiative will pass out 29 new varieties of fourteen different crops, including carrots, kale, broccoli and quinoa. Anyone receiving the seeds must pledge not to restrict their use by means of patents, licenses or any other kind of intellectual property. In fact, any future plant that's derived from these open source seeds also has to remain freely available as well."

Dan Charles reports for NPR's Morning Edition April 17, 2014.


"Novel Open Source Seed Pledge Aims To Keep New Vegetable And Grain Varieties Free for All" (University of Wisconsin release)

Source: NPR, 04/17/2014