At our last meeting David King from the Seed Library of Los Angeles informed us that in 2005 Monsanto purchased Seminis, the largest developer of fruit and vegetable seeds in the world. Many of the seeds you buy at garden centers and nurseries, sold under the brands of various smaller seed companies, come from Seminis.
It is estimated that Seminis controls 40 percent of the U.S. vegetable seed market and 20 percent of the world market—supplying the genetics for 55 percent of the lettuce on U.S. supermarket shelves, 75 percent of the tomatoes, and 85 percent of the peppers, with strong holdings in beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and peas. The company’s biggest revenue source comes from tomato and peppers seeds, followed by cucumbers and beans.
Seminis is a wholesaler, so chances are if you purchase seeds at your local garden center, or website, the company will have purchased seeds from Seminis/Monsanto.
How do you keep your garden safe from seeds produced by Monsanto/Seminis?
Step #1 Pick up the phone and call the seed company you want to buy from and ask if Seminis supplies their seeds. If Seminis is their supplier keep looking until you find another seed company.
Step #3 Buy, plant, and save seeds from heirloom varieties. Seed Savers Exchange and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds specialize in heirlooms. There is an heirloom option for all of the varieties Monsanto owns. It’s just a matter of trying them out and finding your favorites — not a bad way to spend a summer!
If you buy seeds from a seed company that gets their seeds from Seminis, (even one that is not owned by Monsanto and does not sell GMO seed), you are supporting GMOs and Monsanto.
You can view Seminis/Monsanto home-garden vegetable varieties at Home Gardeners – Seminis.
David King’s L.A. Garden Blog Growing Food in Southern California can be found here.