Have you unknowingly invited Monsanto to your garden party?
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. They supply 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! (source)
And Monsanto has been buying up every seed company they can ever since. By going to the Seminis site, you can see their history of acquisitions. You can see Syngenta and Dow are doing the same.
Apparently, Monsanto is now legally registered or established to hold the trademark for a plethora of the named heirloom seed varieties. (See a list of names below.) This company has strategically positioned itself to profit from the growing heirloom or open-pollinated home-gardening market.
Boy, it makes me sick to send profits their way!
Bayer, Monsanto and Their Terrible Little Secrets
First, as of 2015, the Bayer takeover of Monsanto merges a chemical giant with a seed giant and leaves the control of the world’s food supply in too few hands. The merger also links two key parts of agricultural production, reducing competition in the food chain. In 2020, Bayer is expected to control well over the 2017 estimate of 29 per cent of the global seed market and 24 per cent of the global pesticide market. But they now have a competitor!
“Second, there are serious concerns about increased farmer dependency on a smaller number of suppliers, and higher prices due to weak competition.
“Third, the deal increases the power of an even smaller group of companies over the intellectual property, and patents that already lock up much of the world’s commercially produced food supply. The patents weaken farmers’ ability to use and reuse their own seeds.”
“Finally, there are ongoing food health and safety concerns related to the seeds and chemicals produced by these companies. Increasing their market share increases their power over the market and over the producers and consumers that use their products. In 2015, the World Health Organisation declared glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, as “probably carcinogenic in humans,”(source)
We home gardeners need to do our homework to make sure we purchase seeds from companies that aren’t in partnership with Bayer-Monsanto-Seminis. The Healthy Home Economist gives us 4 ways to forget Monsanto.
4 Ways To Keep Monsanto out of Your Garden:
So, it’s pretty important to make sure that none of the seeds you buy this year support Monsanto or one of the companies owned by them.
Excellent seed companies that are NOT affiliated with Monsanto:
(note: companies named on this poster could change in time, so buyer beware, and do your due diligence first!)
- Avoid buying anything from companies that are affiliated with Monsanto or Seminis. You can search the companies they do business with to avoid them as they are potentially compromised.
- 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 of Bayer’s seed portfolio.
- Ask seed companies if they have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and tested their stock for GMOs.
- 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 listed below that specialize in heirlooms and that are NOT owned by Monsanto or Seminis.
The legacy of Seed Savers Exchange is to tell you how to collect and store seeds.
List of companies that specialize in heirlooms and that are NOT owned by Monsanto or Seminis:
- Always ask questions of a company if you want to verify they are not part of the corporate giant.
- Things change and companies are under pressure to survive.
- Some may sell out.
- Adaptive Seeds
- All Good Things Organic (SW)
- Amishland Seeds
- Annie’s Heirloom Seeds
- The Ark Institute
- Backyard Beans and Grains Project
- Baker Creek Seed Co. (Rare Seeds)(MW)
- Beauty Beyond Belief (BBB Seeds)
- Botanical Interests
- Bountiful Gardens
- Clear Creek Seeds
- Diane’s Flower Seeds (she has veggies now, too)
- Deep Harvest Farm and Seeds
- Farm Direct Seed (Hobb’s Family Farm)
- Fedco Seed Co.
- Gourmet Seed
- Grow Organic
- Heirlooms Evermore Seeds at Azure Standard
- Heirloom Seeds
- Heirloom Solutions
- High Mowing Seeds
- Horizon Herbs
- Hudson Valley Seed Library
- Growing Crazy Acres
- Ed Hume Seeds
- J.L Hudson
- Johnny’s Selected Seeds
- Kitchen Garden Seeds
- Knapp’s Fresh Vegies
- Kusa Seed Society
- Lake Valley Seeds
- Landreth Seeds
- Larner Seeds
- The Living Seed Company
- Livingston Seeds
- Local Harvest
- Mary’s Heirloom Seeds
- MI Gardener Organic Seeds
- Native Seeds (for the Arid Southwest)
- Natural Gardening Company
- Nichol’s Garden Nursery
- Prairie Road Garden
- Renee’s Garden
- Redwood City Seeds
- Restoration Seeds
- R.H. Shumway’s
- Sand Hill Preservation Center
- Seed for Security
- Seed Treasures
- Seeds For Generations
- Seeds of Change
- Seeds Now
- Seeds Trust
- Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
- Select Seeds
- Siskiyou Seeds (NW)
- Southern Exposure
- Sow True (SE)
- Strictly Medicinal Seeds
- Sustainable Seed Co
- Territorial Seed Company
- Tomato Bob Heirloom Seeds
- Tomato Fest
- Trees of Antiquity
- Underwood Garden Seeds
- Uprising Seeds
- Victory Seeds
- Vermont Wildflower Farm
- White Harvest Seed
- Wildseed Farms
- Wood Prairie Farm (NE)
Canadian Seed Companies:
- Annapolis Valley Heritage Seed Company
- Brother Nature
- Full Circle Seeds
- Greta’s Organic Garden
- Heritage Harvest Seeds (ships to Canada only)
- Hope Seeds
- Incredible Seeds
- Richters Herbs
- Salt Spring Seeds
- Solana Seeds
- Stellar Seeds
- Terra Edibles
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!
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!