After the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture cracked down on a seed bank in the Joseph T. Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, hundreds of seed libraries in the U.S. are suddenly wondering if they are breaking the law.
There are seed laws in every state that regulate the sale and transport of seeds within state lines. Tt the federal level, seed laws govern interstate commerce in seeds. These laws exist to restrict the introduction of invasive species, protect consumers from unscrupulous businesses, and ensure fair competition in the seed industry. But should they apply to non-commercial, non-profit, community-based seed libraries? We don't think so, and we think that seed libraries have the laws on their side.
SELC, along with our friends at Shareable and the Center for a New American Dream, published this article laying down the legal argument why seed libraries shouldn't be subjected to seed laws intended to regulate the commercial seed industry.
By Lori Aratani
EXCERPT: “These platforms are enabling people to do business in ways they never could before,” said Janelle Orsi, executive director of the Oakland, Calif.-based Sustainable Economies Law Center. “These platforms offer ways to connect with each other really easily, which has a lot of benefits in creating income for people but is really shaking up the market.”Read more
32 specific policy recommendations that enable communities to remove barriers to sharing and realize the benefits of the sharing economy in food, jobs, housing, and transportation. View in window below or click here to download PDF.
Policies for Shareable Cities is the first policy handbook of its kind. It includes 32 recommended policies that enable cities to benefit from the sharing economy in the priority areas of food, jobs, housing, and transportation. Click here to read or download the brief.
The Sustainable Economies Law Center's (SELC) free, comprehensive online legal resource library for urban agriculture. Key topics:
Planning & Zoning Soil
Animals and Livestock Employment Law
Food, Ag, and Health Regulations Water
Liability, Risk, and Insurance For-Profit Urban Ag
Land Access Building Codes
Homeowners Associations Non-Profit Urban Ag
Many thanks to the our volunteer researchers and volunteer research attorneys who contributed to this free online resource for urban farmers. View the eResource at UrbanAgLaw.org.
Click here to view or download the powerpoint presentation by East Bay Cohousing's Betsy Morris.
Community renewable energy is clean, small-scale, and owned or sponsored by communities. That's why it creates democratic, resilient energy grids with distributed economic benefits. SELC’s expert panelists discuss the legal barriers, policy opportunities, and steps to creating a new energy future. Click here to watch the webinar.
Posted by· September 09, 2013 6:00 AM
Posted by· July 15, 2013 8:05 AM
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New report details what cities can do now to benefit from a sharing economy
San Francisco, CA (September 9, 2013) — A new report released today by the Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC) and Shareable details policy steps that city governments can take to benefit from the growing sharing economy by supporting innovations such as ridesharing, carsharing, cohousing, cooperatives, and urban agriculture.Read more
The Sustainable Living Research Ordinance (SLRO) provides Goleta local government with a regulatory pathway to enable residential sustainability projects and designs otherwise illegal under current law. The ordinance does so by designating a property as a "Sustainable Living Research Site," where practices including natural building, onsite wastewater treatment, and self-sustaining agricultural villages would be permitted uses.Read more
We’re sharing more things, more deeply, with more people. Why sharing is the answer to some of today’s biggest questions.Read more