Have you unknowingly invited Monsanto to your garden party? Updated from 2013.
In 2005, Monsanto grabbed 40% of the U.S. seed market and 20% of the global seed market when it bought out Seminis, making them the largest seed company in the world—supplying the genetics for 55% of the lettuce on U.S. supermarket shelves, 75% of the tomatoes, and 85% of the peppers, with strong holdings in beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and peas!
And Monsanto (closely followed by Dow and Syngenta) have been buying up every seed company they can ever since. They even own the trademark for many of the names of popular non-GMO seeds varieties!
But even worse, in addition to that, Monsanto now owns the trademark for many of the names of the heirloom seed varieties themselves! (See a list of names below.) Monsanto has cleverly positioned itself to make money off the growing heirloom or open-pollinated home-gardening market, as well as the agricultural and food industry!
Boy, it makes me sick to send profits their way!
(source) Click here for zoom.it (scroll in and out version)
Monsanto and Their Nasty Little Secret
Over the past 15 years or so Monsanto, along with 4 other biotech giant companies, have bought out more than 200 small seed companies. Why? To dominate the supply of course.
Aside from trying to control the seed market, one of the main reasons that Monsanto and other biotech companies such as Pioneer and Syngenta have bought up so many seed companies is to use the DNA of those heirloom and open-pollinated varieties in their future GMO products.
Deceptively, most of the wonderful plant traits the GMO juggernauts brag about trying to create (drought tolerance, higher yields, insect resistance, etc.) are actually the product of traditional breeding. In a nutshell, with their ill-gotten profits, they can buy up the seed companies and monopolize and control the service done by farmers and home gardeners over generations to produce superior seeds. Once the acquisitions are finalized, they can slip their ‘dirty’ proprietary gene into it, call it theirs, and patent it.
We home gardeners need to do our homework to make sure we purchase seeds from companies that aren’t in partnership with Monsanto-Seminis.
4 Ways To Keep Monsanto out of Your Garden:
So, how can you make sure that none of the seeds you buy this year are not supporting Monsanto or one of the companies owned by them—even when buying non-GMO seeds?
1.) Avoid buying anything from companies that are affiliated with Monsanto or Seminis. Here is a list of companies to avoid and click on the ‘Where To Buy‘ Box. This is a Seminis site and tell you who they sell to (and thus who is potentially compromised).
2.) Avoid buying seed or seedlings varieties that are trademarked and owned by Seminis or Monsanto. This includes popular tomato varieties such as ‘Early Girl’, ‘Better Boy’, and ‘Burpee’s Big Boy’, as well as a host of other common home garden varieties like ‘Habanero’ hot pepper and ‘Packman’ broccoli. These are not GMO varieties, but their purchase does profit Monsanto. Here’s a list.
3.) Ask seed companies if they have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and tested their stock for GMOs. Here’s a list.
4.) Purchase, plant, and save seeds from heirloom varieties. We need to support Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, and Clear Creek Heirloom Seeds and others that specialize in heirlooms and that are NOT owned by Monsanto or Seminis. The legacy of Seed Saver’s Exchange is to tell you how to collect and store seeds.
Portions excerpted from The Healthy Home Economist!
Here’s the list of companies that specialize in heirlooms and that are NOT owned by Monsanto or Seminis. :
All Good Things Organic (SW)
Annie’s Heirloom Seeds
The Ark Institute
Backyard Beans and Grains Project
Baker Creek Seed Co. (Rare Seeds)(MW)
Beauty Beyond Belief (BBB Seeds)
Diane’s Flower Seeds (she has veggies now, too)
Family Farmer’s Seed Co-op
Farm Direct Seed (Hobb’s Family Farm)
Fedco Seed Co.
Garden City Seeds
Heirlooms Evermore Seeds
High Mowing Seeds
Hudson Valley Seed Library
Growing Crazy Acres
Ed Hume Seeds
Kitchen Garden Seeds
Knapp’s Fresh Vegies
Kusa Seed Society
Lake Valley Seeds
The Living Seed Company
Moonlight Micro Farm
Mountain Rose Herbs
My Patriot Supply
Native Seeds (for the Arid Southwest)
Natural Gardening Company
New Hope Seed Company
Nichol’s Garden Nursery
Organic Sanctuary (SE)
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
Prairie Road Garden
Sand Hill Preservation Center
Seed for Security
Siskiyou Seeds (NW)
Sow True (SE)
Sustainable Seed Co
Trees of Antiquity
Turtle Tree Seed
Underwood Garden Seeds
Vermont Wildflower Farm
White Harvest Seed
Wild Garden Seeds
Wood Prairie Farm (NE)
Canadian Seed Companies:
Annapolis Valley Heritage Seed Company
Full Circle Seeds
Greta’s Organic Garden
Heritage Harvest Seeds (ships to Canada only)
Salt Spring Seeds
Seeds of Victoria
The Cottage Gardener
Baker Creek is run by a REAL family as are many of the remaining smaller seed companies! They work extensively to supply free seeds to many of the world’s poorest countries, as well as here at home in school gardens and other educational projects. It is their goal to educate everyone about a better, safer food supply.
Let’s boycott all gene-altering companies. Together, we can build a more sustainable world, one garden at a time!
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If you know of other companies that are ‘clean’ seeds, please leave a link to them (or contact information) in the comments. We want to support those whose work is ethical and honest. Thank you!
Thanks for reading!