So, planting a GMO-free garden is not so simple as buying certified organic or heirloom seed anymore, now that Monsanto owns so many seed companies. For example, Seminis’ non-GMO seeds are carried by many popular garden catalogs, including Burpee, Park Seed, Territorial Seeds, and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. This means that a gardener or homesteader could unknowingly be giving money to Monsanto, if the seeds used are supplied from Seminis or one of Monsanto’s other acquisitions.
Monsanto’s Dirty Little Secret
Aside from trying to dominate the global seed market and make everyone in the world their hostage customer, one of the main reasons that Monsanto has bought up so many seed companies is to use the germplasm (DNA) of those non-GMO varieties in their future GMO products.
The dirty little secret of the GMO industry is that most of the traits that they brag about trying to create (like drought tolerance, greater nutrition, etc.) are actually the product of traditional breeding.
In essence, by buying up all the seed companies, they can literally steal the work done by thousands of gardeners and farmers over generations to produce quality seeds with beneficial growing traits. Then they can slip a Round-Up Ready or other proprietary gene into it and call it their “own”, and sell it with patent restrictions.
This is not a company any gardener would want to support.
Where to Buy Non GMO Seeds
So, how can you make sure that the seeds you buy this year are not supporting Monsanto or one of the companies acquired by them? Here are five ways to keep Monsanto out of your garden:
1. Avoid buying anything from companies that are affiliated with Monsanto or Seminis. ( Here’s a list .)
2. Avoid buying seed or seedlings varieties that are trademarked by Seminis or Monsanto, especially those found at big box garden centers. This includes popular tomato varieties such as ‘Celebrity,’ ‘Early Girl,’ and ‘Better Boy,’ as well as a host of other common home garden varieties, like ‘Cheddar’ cauliflower and ‘Marketmore 76′ cucumbers. ( Here’s a list .)
3. Buy seeds or seedlings only from companies that Monsanto hasn’t bought and that aren’t affiliated with Seminis. ( Here’s a list .)
4. Ask seed companies if they have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and tested their stock for GMOs. ( Here’s a list .)
5. Buy, plant, and save seeds from heirloom varieties. Seed Savers Exchange , Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds , and Clear Creek Heirloom Seeds all specialize in heirlooms, and are not owned by Monsanto or Seminis. Seed Savers Exchange will gladly tell you how to collect and store seeds.
Please spread the word among other gardeners you know to be very careful when buying seeds and seedlings for their gardens this year.
Together, we can free ourselves from Monsanto’s grip on the worldwide seed market and build momentum for a more sustainable world, one garden at a time!
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