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The Neglected Miracle

Film (Excerpts) – 1985

– Botanist David Bellamy describes the documentary, while introducing its screening at the 1985 London Film Festival
It began on the premise that it is crazy to own life. How can we have a system where the genome is owned? Most of the genomes are owned. I don't know if people realise that.
– Barry Barclay on The Neglected Miracle, in documentary The Camera on the Shore
Each generation has a part in this stewardship. Having taken a storyteller position, I could show a great range of people who are involved in this stewardship, from the home gardener, the peasant farmer and the traditional plant breeder to the international policy maker; anybody, in fact, who is involved in the stewardship of the plants humans depend on for life itself.
– Barry Barclay, in his 2005 book Mana Tuturu: Māori Treasures and Intellectual Property Rights, page 44
The nutritive value doesn’t matter at all. The protein content doesn’t matter at all. What matters is does it look well, will it sell, will somebody buy it, and how much will we make on the deal?
– An interviewee from the film
Our film invites you on a journey that has involved us for five years, and taken us to a dozen countries. It’s a journey about seeds: about the seeds we plant, to grow crops like beans, maize and wheat. Where do these seeds come from? Who controls them? We didn’t get anything like all the answers, but one thing is certain: whatever one’s discipline or politics, we all depend on seeds for life.
– Opening narration