• Agri-Terrorism – Seed Libraries Illegal in Pennsylvania

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    Agri-Terrorism – Seed Libraries Illegal in PennsylvaniaTerrorism is extensively defined as the illegal use of force, violence, or indirect harm against persons and property to threaten or compel a government or the civilian population to advance political, religious, or ideological aims. Agriterrorism is the measured introduction of injurious means, biological and otherwise, towards an agricultural environment, including infrastructures and food processes with the purpose of causing real or superficial harm. This means that terrorist target livestock, crops and the processing, packaging, distribution and marketing.

    In the United States, Michigan is no longer the only state with a Department of Agriculture that is resolute on the best welfare of their citizens.

    Residents in Pennsylvania can now breathe a little bit easier since an illegal enterprise has been shut down.

    The Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg was participating in an activity that put the entire ecosystem of the state at risk.

    In an astonishing act of hubris, they were running a seed library, right there amongst the books, in the very facility where small children go to have stories read to them.

    I’m not making this up. A SEED LIBRARY.

    A seed library in another definition is a foundation that lends or shares seed. It is different from a seed bank for its central goal is not to store seeds against likely damage, but to distribute them to the public which conserves the shared plant varieties through proliferation and further partaking of seed.

    You borrow the seeds, grow them, and when it’s already harvest time, you reap the seeds of your produce and return it back to the library who lent it to you.

    The horror.

    Apparently this violates the “Seed Act of 2004.” That’s right, there’s a Seed Act that makes this illegal.

    Luckily for the Cumberland County Library System, the state D of A decided that SWAT was not necessary and instead sent a high-ranking official and a team of lawyers to shut down the seed library.

    Jonelle Darr, the Executive Director of the CCLS, said that 60 residents had signed up to participate in the seed library.  She said that continuing the project isn’t possible, due to the rigorous requirements of the D of A.

    Darr explained that the Seed Act primarily focuses on the selling of seeds — which the library was not doing — but there is also a concern about seeds that may be mislabeled (purposefully or accidentally), the growth of invasive plant species, cross-pollination and poisonous plants.

    The department told the library it could not have the seed library unless its staff tested each seed packet for germination and other information. Darr said that was clearly not something staff could handle.

    No one is really aware of the tussles of the Department of Agriculture. They only set you to help you.  They, like the EPA and the BLM are determined into saving the environment. The D of A is on a mission to rain down on seed libraries because even if they don’t know it, libraries and patrons could be performing AGRI-TERRORISM.


    Yep, that is what some folks call gardening these days.  The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is taking this threat very seriously, and has vowed to crack down on seed libraries across the state.

    Some of the Cumberland County Commissioners felt that this might not be the best use of time by the D of A, but one, Barbara Cross, has a higher understanding. Cross grasps the danger of gardeners run amok.

    Some of the commissioners questioned whether that was the best use of the department’s time and money, but commissioner Barbara Cross noted that such seed libraries on a large scale could very well pose a danger.

    “Agri-terrorism is a very, very real scenario,” she said. “Protecting and maintaining the food sources of America is an overwhelming challenge … so you’ve got agri-tourism on one side and agri-terrorism on the other.”

    Cross said it made sense that the department would want to tackle the issue now while the efforts were small. (source)

    Apparently, at this point, as long as the seeds do not pass through the hands of the library, area residents can get together and exchange seeds amongst themselves.  So far, that’s still legal.

    According to Cross, Agri terrorism is an existent situation. Protecting and preserving the food sources of America is a tremendous challenge. You have agri tourism on one hand and agri terrorism on the other. Cross further added that it is sensible that the department would want to take action while the exertions were minor.

    The truth of the matter is that you can go on exchanging seeds even without a library. But still, that would be illegal.

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