Is Worldwide Famine Around The Corner?


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Preamble: I strongly encourage everyone who cares about their own food and worldwide famine to read the article found at this link.  In case you are reluctant to click through to another page I have reprinted it below, without permission- with full attribution as far as I am able to provide.  I have also exercised editorial license in keeping with the style of this blog (and my overly academic approach to style and content).  The specific original authors name is unknown- not published at the source http://inspirationgreen.com/organic-vegetables-start-out-as-seed.html#jf82ae1f2c.

In 1980, the Supreme Court reasonably ruled in the case of Diamond v. Chakrabarty that genetic coding could be owned. This changed the seed industry commercial incentive from from public interest to private profit, and corporations outside of the seed business (mostly pharmaceutical and chemical company’s) started buying up seed companies. A few multinational companies now own almost all of our plants’ genetic codes. Our choices for long lived genetic ancestral lines keep getting smaller as these hybrid seed companies ‘perfect’ our seed for us, breeding out all of our agricultural genetic history into gene pools that  do not reproduce after 1 or 2 generations.

For the past few years  there has been an uproar in the vegetable seed business after Monsanto purchased Seminis in 2005 (a seed conglomerate that controls 40% of the U.S. vegetable seed market) and in 2008, Monsanto bought De Ruiter Seeds (one of the top vegetable breeders in the world). Monsanto is now in the vegetable seed business with a controlling segment of the market. More than 55 percent of  lettuce, 75 percent of U.S. tomatoes, and 85 percent of pepper varieties now originate through Monsanto’s seed.

We now have yet another reason to buy organic produce. Hopefully,  this revelation will be the impetus to get even more Americans to start a vegetable garden…and possibly a fruit garden as well!

Due to Monsanto’s huge market share you’ll need to do a bit of homework if you wish to steer clear of purchasing their seed, since even reputable seed companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, are still selling Seminis (now Monsanto) seed. Buying seed from a seed exchange, buying open-pollinated and organic, are safe ways to avoid Monsanto seed.

It is important to remember that although hybrids have been ‘naturally’ manipulated, their genes are stable. But their successive seed will be either sterile or revert back to a parent’s tendencies.

Some hybrid seed varieties have been around a long time and you will even see some sold as organic. Hybrids keep big seed companies in business, as you must buy the seed each year. Genetically modified seed on the other hand, is manipulated in a laboratory. Foreign genes are ‘forced’ into a plant which causes other unintended gene changes as well. Then the plant is cloned. Many times the genes are unstable and can infiltrate into other plants, eventually contaminating entire field.

GM seed is patented, so if you are found with a GM plant on your field that you did not buy that year as fresh seed, you can be sued. Many farmer’s can already attest to being in this unfortunate situation. Monsanto has a huge budget  for investigating and prosecuting farmers on grounds of patent infringement.

Although Monsanto has yet to release genetically modified vegetables into the market, they spend almost 2 million dollars a day on research and development.  It is reasonable to expect that GM vegetables are probably not very far away. Monsanto currently holds rights to technology for more than 90 percent of the world’s genetically engineered crops. And it holds thousands of U.S. seed patents.

If you see PVP (Plant Variety Protection) listed, that means the seed or plant carries a U.S. patent.

Another term to note when buying seed is ‘heirloom’.  There is no standard definition in biological terms for what ‘heirloom’ means. To a small-town seed exchange it might mean one thing, to a seed conglomerate another. Most often heirloom means that seeds are open-pollinated with at least a 50 year history. See the heirloom seeds wiki page for a good synopsis.

Also, before buying seed ,note that ‘treated’ seeds are coated in chemical anti-fungals (most likely Captan or Thiram) and dyed. Most small seed companies let you know if a seed has been treated. Regarding organic seed, the best to buy-  if you can find them, since most seed varieties have yet to be certified organic.

There is a great need to continue properly certifying seed varieties as organic and making them available in mass quantities to the open market, or we are all going to end up in a corporate profits inspired famine on a global level.

For a list of seed companies you might in good conscience choose to purchase seeds from please go to http://inspirationgreen.com/organic-vegetables-start-out-as-seed.html#jf82ae1f2c

The link above is to a page where you will find a list of Safe Seed Companies- the first few listed under each region sell only organic- then those below sell some conventional seed as well, but it is noted if they sell Monsanto seed. If they do, avoid their conventional seed or check the second list, which lists Monsanto’s vegetable varieties.

Popular Monsanto (Seminis) seeds- for full listing of Seminis seeds hit vegetable name, which will take you to appropriate Seminis’ page. To see De Ruiter varieties hit De Ruiter link under cucumber, eggplant, tomato, pepper. To make things even more confusing, each mail-order seed company might resell the same seed but use a different name for it. The only way you can be 100% positive you are not buying a Monsanto seed is to check with the re-seller or buy from a company selling their own seed or organic or open-pollinated.

Beans: Brio, Eureka, EZ Gold, Goldrush, Kentucky King, Lynx, Xera…

Broccoli: Captain, Heritage, Liberty, Packman, more…

Carrot: Nutri-Red, Sweet Sunshine, Karina, Chantenay hybrids, Chantilly, Lariat

Cauliflower: Cheddar, Fremont, Minuteman, more…

Cucumber: Babylon, Dasher II, Daytona, Homemade Pickles, Speedway, Sweet Slice, Yellow Submarine, Sweeter Yet…link to De Ruiter cucumber list…

Eggplant: Black Beauty, Dancer, Fairy Tale, Gretel, Hansel, Tango, Twilight…De Ruiter Eggplants…

Lettuce: Baby Star, Blackjack, Esmeralda, Lolla Rossa, Monet, Red Butterworth, Red Sails, Red Tide, Summer time…

Melons: Alaska, Bush Whopper, Casablanca, Dixie Jumbo, Early Crisp, Stars and Stripes, Sugarnut, more…

Okra: Cajun Delight

Onion: Arsenal, Candy, Hamlet, Mars, Red Zeppelin, Superstar, many more…

Peppers: Aristotle, Biscayne, Camelot, Caribbean Red, Cherry Bomb, Dulce, Early Sunsation, Fat and Sassy, King Arthur, Northstar, Red Knight, Serrano del Sol, Sahuaro, Super Chili, Valencia, many more…De Ruiter pepper varities…

Pumpkin: Buckskin Pumpkin, Orange Smoothie, Prizewinner, more…

Spinach: Bolero, Cypress, Melody, Unipack 151, many more…

Squash: Autumn Delight, Blackjack, Bush Delicata, Butterstick, Daisy, Early Butternut, Fancycrook, Gold Rush, Latino, Lolita, Patty Green Tint, Really Big Butternut, Seneca (all), Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Table Ace…

Tomato: Baby Girl, Big Beef, Beefmaster, Beaufort, Celebrity, Favorita, First Lady I and II, Early Girl, Geronimo, Golden Girl, Maxifort, Pink Girl, Sunguard, Sun Chief Sweet, Sweet Million, Trust…link to De Ruiter tomato varieties…

Watermelon: Bambino, Crimson Glory, Royal Flush, Royal Star, Stargazer, Starbright, Stars and Stripes, Tiger Baby, Yellow Doll

As an alternative way to shop for seed, visit the non-profit Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) Organic Seeds Databasewww.omri.org/seeds –  lists certified “final handlers” for organic seed. The list is arranged by produce. Pick a vegetable and find a seller.

The list below is a list of popular Monsanto seed. It would be very lengthy if all were included, but there are links to Monsanto’s products pages so that you might do further research. Many seed re-sellers buy seed from a broker who has purchased a huge block of seed, the broker breaks up the order, and then re-sells to numerous mail-order seed companies. So, many companies carry the same seed. And unfortunately many of these seed companies then re-name the seed, adding to the further confusion about which is a true corrupted Monsanto seed.

Here are some of the brand names that Big Business owns and ‘packages’ their dangerous seeds as:

American Seeds, Asgrow, Campbell, DeKalb, De Ruiter, Diener Seeds, Fielder’s Choice, Fontanelle, Gold Country Seed, Hawkeye, Heartland, Heritage Seeds, Holdens, HPS Seed, Hubner Seed, icorn, Jung Seed, Kruger Seeds, Lewis Hybrids, Peotec, Poloni, Rea Hybrids, R.H. Shumway, Seeds of the World, Seminis, Seymour’s Selected Seeds, Specialty, Stewart, Stone Seed,Totally Tomatoes, Trelay, Vermont Bean Seed Company, Western Seeds.

But remember seed companies buy Monsanto seed in bulk and then repackage it under their name as well…

REFERENCE:

Find this excellent article in it’s original form with the safe places to buy seeds LISTS at:  http://inspirationgreen.com/organic-vegetables-start-out-as-seed.html#jf82ae1f2c

* www.seedalliance.org/Seed_News/SeminisMonsanto/

www.indyweek.com/indyweek/the-seeds-of-vegetable-diversity

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_seed

http://www.deruiterseeds.com/Corporate/Monsanto

http://www.etcgroup.org/en/node/198

http://www.msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html

http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/C/Codons.html

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