Seeds from an open pollinated corn that have been purposefully crossed with others, provide a plethora of colors and sizes in last year's harvest of corn from my garden. They also provide an amazing diversity of genetic material that could prove crucial in the years ahead.
What do we want in the seeds we sow?
We want a crop we will be able to eat, or to spin or heal us. In a seed, a human sees the future. The seed provides it's crop, and if the crop held promise, the human would save 10% or so of that crop to insure that the same results would be approximated next year. That was not a law of man, but of nature. Seeds were nature's way of insuring the survival of a species or a variety of a species. Mankind selected seeds that produced crops he needed or desired and made improvements to plants of importance to him. It was almost a holy, sacred pact.
Today, we have 'genetic modified organisms.' In genetic modification of organisms, instead of culling genes of existing plants and selecting for traits that are valuable, modern science injects traits into plants from completely different forms of life to arrive at what they want. This is not the same thing as finding the corn plant with the biggest ear and saving that seed to plant next year. It is not a logical step, no matter what the defenders might say.
Now, these organisms MAY end up being safe; I am not certain they will be, but there is that chance. However, making the planet and the people now alive on it the unwitting mice in the long-term study is not acceptable. Scientists and companies advancing these technologies need to be required to make a twenty year study – in laboratories and controlled spaces – before these plants – and their pollen – are allowed to be in the great outdoors where they can have affects on plants that are as yet unknown. After the twenty year study, then perhaps studies could be undertaken to see if the plants can exist in the wild. One can hear the squeals of protest that the economic losses would be horrific and this is the talk of stifling economic growth and science. Tell it to Bhopal where science and economic concerns showed that they were incapable of giving life a fair chance to survive.
Seeds have to have a future if mankind will have a future. The future cannot be patented and should not be threatened just for financial gain (although we are pretty far down the road on that account many times over...).
Monsanto has created seeds they have patented. Among other transgressions, they have planted their GMO corn with such flagrant violation of common sense that its pollen has been found in wild stands of teosinte, corn's presumed predecessor. They make seeds and they sell them – Seminis is their seed seller. And you can buy their seed. Unfortunately you can buy their seed without knowing it too. There is no law that says a genetically modified seed has to be identified.
However, we can identify the companies who sell these seeds to the public and we can not buy from them. This helps insure that the seeds you plant are seeds that do not support Monsanto and their research. I would encourage all gardeners to be proactive about the future of life on earth and not buy anything that helps support this crime against our children and the children of the planet. Our government is too weak to fight back – Congress has sold their souls for the buck to get re-elected; the courts don't understand the depths of the sinister depravity of companies that hold profit is more important than life and the regulatory agencies are staffed by the very people that need to be regulated. It really is up to the individual to do all he or she can to make the change.
Here is the plan of action, as I see it today:
Do not buy any seeds that support Monsanto or Seminis – list below.
Do buy all the open pollinated seeds you can grow, grow them and save seeds from them – plant them again and share your seeds with your neighbors. Tell them what you did and why you did it!
Educate gardeners (and consumers) all around you to the evils in our own country. The so-called Evil Empire is not a foreign government or corporation! It is in America!
Continue to try to elect people who are conscious of the greater problem facing the world today and aren't willing to sell out to corporations that clearly aren't here for humanity. It's OK to make an honest living, but this is not honest and it is not just a 'living.'
From Seminis' own website, the following list of companies are dealers for seeds from Monsanto and therefore are not to be trusted (some of my favorite companies are here, I find that very sad):
Burpee, W Atlee
300 Park Ave.
Warminster, PA 18974
Dege Garden Center
831 N Century Ave.
St Paul, MN 55119
Ph: (651) 739-8314
Fax: (651) 739-8326
E & R Seed Co.
1356 E. 200 S.
Monroe, IN 46772
Earl May Seed
208 N. Elm St.
Shenandoah, IA 51603
355 Paul Rd.
Rochester, NY 14624
Ph: (716) 295-3600
Fax: (716) 295-3609
5100 Schenley Place
Lawrenceberg, IN 47025
Ph: (812) 537-8650
Fax: (812) 537-5108
Germania Seed Co.
5978 N. Northwest Hwy
Chicago, IL 60631
Ph: (773) 631-6631
Fax: (773) 631-4449