32 genes
280 centimeters in diameter

"The installation, made of basic grains, deals with alimentary sovereignty and genetically modified food issues. The genetic modification technology is used in basic crops such as soy, corn, and rice. The fields planted with these patented seeds are a threat to biodiversity of seeds, organic crops, and ecosystems. These seeds have been modified not only with animal genetic information—like strawberries containing a fish's genetic information so that the strawberries will last longer, or corn altered so it can stand cold temperatures—but also have been modified to be able to withstand exposure to many more chemicals than a natural seed. These chemicals are absorbed by the soil and subsequently contaminate waterbeds.


"Since agriculture began in the Fertile Crescent of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers around 8000 B.C.E., farmers have kept the best seeds of each harvest to be able to grow the next one. This practice has allowed farmers to refine and develop their products. For example, corn was initially a grass growing in the Usumacinta River (near the modern-day Mexico and Guatemala border) some 3,000 years ago, and it has only been through the process of choosing the best seeds of each harvest that we have the modern corncob.


"Huge companies now sell these genetically modified seeds and their attendant chemical pesticides and herbicides. They own patents for the seeds and have a right to demand that every seed be given back at the end of a harvest. This means that every harvest a farmer needs to buy new seeds or risk being brought to trial. Without the resources to engage in the court process, farmers are at the mercy of the corporations.


"These factors are often aggravated by a totally dependent economic model in afflicted regions and rural communities around the world. Corporations with enormous power and support from governments are effectively eliminating the biodiversity of seeds of our planet. One argument for condoning the behavior of these corporations is that they are improving seeds through their technological methods to help fight starvation. In reality, people who are dying of hunger can't afford to buy the seeds and the chemicals 'needed' every year, nor can they afford the risk of contaminating their soil and waterbeds.


"We, as consumers, decide three times a day what we want on our tables. We decide each time what model of agriculture we support."—L.M.