Seeds of Change – Farmers, Biotechnology, and the New Face of Agriculture


This documentary film is a seventy-minute documentary film made by University of Manitoba (U of M) professor Stéphane McLachlan, U of M PhD student Ian Mauro, and independent videographer Jim Sanders, is a balanced yet hard-hitting exposé of the controversy surrounding genetically modified crops and how they have changed the face of agriculture in western Canada.

Seeds of Change examines the controversy surrounding the use of genetically modified (GM) crops across the Canadian prairies. A publicly funded project, and part of a larger, comprehensive research program examining the risks associated with biotechnology in agriculture, this documentary contributes a new voice and perspective to the debate – that of farmers.

But unfortunately, Seeds of Change was not publicly released until over three years after University of Manitoba (U of M) PhD candidate Ian Mauro, U of M professor Stéphane McLachlan, and independent videographer Jim Sanders completed it, in the fall of 2002.

Over the course of the long delay, spreading news of the film’s existence garnered considerable interest from farmers, researchers, and policy makers from around the world, including those from Australia, the EU, and the US. Why did it take so long for the completed film to be made available to the public?

The public release of Seeds of Change was delayed until November 2005 because of the efforts of the U of M administration to hide the film from a popular audience. The administration actively prevented the release of the film through the use of outdated bylaws that gave them 50% control over the Seeds of Change footage.

Why would the U of M administration do this? Their exact motives are not known. Informative and highly accessible, Seeds of Change is also balanced in the sense that it presents both pros and cons surrounding the GM crop technology, providing a “radical centre” perspective in a debate that is fuelled by extreme positions.

Read more about the censorship attempt here.

View the trailer.

Back to Top