A sure sign of spring is the arrival of seed catalogs in the mail. Gardeners spend many an hour looking through the catalogs, picking out their favorite seeds, deciding which new offerings to try, and balancing out the selections with the garden budget for seeds and space available in the garden.
Today’s gardener has a bit more of a challenge in selecting seed, especially if the gardener wants to avoid genetically modified seed.
Currently much of the world’s seed stock is under the ownership of mega-corporation Monsanto. Yes, the Monsanto known for genetically modified seed.
When Monsanto purchased seed retailer Seminis in 2005 for a whopping $1.4 billion, Monsanto became the largest seed stock owner in the world.
Some seed companies refuse to sell genetically modified seed. These companies prominently display a safe seed pledge – a written statement committing to not sell genetically modified seed, or to not knowingly sell genetically modified seed. Consumers who are unsure of the company’s status, should contact the seed company.
The Council for Responsible Genetics publishes a safe seed resource list, a list of companies who have signed the safe seed pledge for 2012.
In the meantime, here is a list of seed stock owned by Monsanto. Seed stock listed are not necessarily genetically modified, but they are owned by Monsanto. In addition, not all the seed stock listed is necessarily exclusive to Monsanto/Seminis. Gardeners can verify the source by checking with the seed company.
The information listed below can be verified at the Seminis website. The link is found in the article, “Forewarned is Forearmed: Home Garden Veggies in the Monsanto/Seminis Catalogue.”
Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema
Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman
Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty
Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III
Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman
Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega
Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening
Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz
Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador
Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno
Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision
Pumpkin: Appalachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster
Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM
Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation
Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot
Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio, Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui
Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia
Some companies listed on the safe seed resource list include:
Seed Savers Exchange
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Fedco Co-op Garden Supplies
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Seeds of Change
Annie’s Heirloom Seeds