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Seeds of Change

Stef McLachlan, Jim Sanders & Ian Mauro / Canada / 2004 / 72 ' / English


Stef McLachlan & Andre Clement
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Farmers, biotechnology and the new face of agriculture


Seeds of Change is a feature length video documenting the impacts genetically engineered (GE) canola is having on farmers and rural communities in the Canadian Prairies. Unfortunately, since it's completion in the fall of 2002, the filmmakers who are also researchers at the University of Manitoba have been prevented to screen the film due to ongoing suppression by that academic institution. Many have speculated that perhaps this may be due to the delicate relationship between the University and Monsanto, a company in the film. Completed in 2002, distribution of the film was blocked by the University of Manitoba administration. While officially citing fear their insurance would not cover potential lawsuits over the film, but others have pointed to the fact that the university has increased links with the very same biotech companies that the film criticizes. This has been reinforced by Monsanto Corporation's recent decision to move its headquarters to the University of Manitoba SmartPark (meant to bring corporations closer to academics in order to promote innovation and research). In response to this attack on academic freedom, on Nov. 16th, 2005, a coalition of Canadian student and community organizations launched the Free the Film campaign to screen Seeds of Change on campuses and in communities across Canada. In an age where corporate involvement is becoming more and more pervasive in all aspects of our society – from the food we eat to the information we can access – is it more important than ever to open up debate and discussion on its effects.


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