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I am writing to ask you if you might know of any garden seed company that does NOT have such a one-sided view of GMOs? The reason I ask is for this: the company where I used to get my seed now states on their website “We’ve Said NO to GMO.” I then went to another popular gardening seed company and I’m afraid it was even worse. I love to garden, but I don’t want to purchase my seed from a company that has an anti-GMO position. Would you happen to know where I can go to get garden seed from somewhere that is NOT so anti-GMO in their marketing? Thanks so much for your time!
Thank you so much for you question! No doubt this is very frustrating for gardeners that also understand that biotechnology is an important tool for farmers, and key for increasing production and protecting our environment. I appreciate that, instead of simply purchasing from the same company despite their negative rhetoric, you’ve made the choice to look elsewhere. It isn’t always easy, but rejecting that type of marketing is important to send a strong message that it won’t be tolerated.
Before answering your question, I would also like to point out that it is very much a marketing gimmick for these companies that sell solely to gardeners to make such a claim. Genetically modified seeds are generally only available to large-scale, commercial growers. If you’re simply buying seeds for your backyard garden, you won’t be able to purchase GMOs anyway. GMO seeds tend to come in large quantities and seed companies are not allowed to repackage them. In addition, some type of technology or stewardship agreement is also required, which isn’t very practical for home gardeners. So, advertising that claims a home gardening company is not selling GMO seeds is a pretty easy statement to make, without really having to make any changes in their products. They are obviously trying to capitalize on anti-GMO sentiment.
That being said, I did have to hunt a little bit to find seed companies that sell directly to gardeners without having some type of anti-GMO marketing gimmicks. I put a call out on my social media accounts, however, and was able to find you a few companies! I followed-up with the companies to get their official positions on biotech, and the following had responses that I think we can all live with. (Click on the company name to go directly to their website.)
- Seminis – The company is actually a biotechnology company that provides seed on a commercial basis for farmers, but also has certain crops available for home gardens. No anti-GMO rhetoric here!
- Harris Seeds – My family used to do a lot of business with this company. I contacted them to find out their position on GMOs. While they do not sell any GMO varieties for home gardeners (see above), they are open to new technologies that will benefit their consumers.
- Earl May – Just as with Harris Seeds, Earl May was not necessarily opposed to biotechnology, but is not able to provide it to their home garden customers for the same reasons.
I will continue to keep an eye out for other companies selling to home gardeners that are not trying to capitalize on anti-GMO sentiment. If anyone else has any suggestions, please let me know and I will investigate the company and update the list!
Thanks again for the question, Dawn!
Eric Bjerregaard says
Thanks, I( already buy from Harris and will look into Earl May.
Thank you SO MUCH for your research and help! It has provided me with great information to plan my garden. I appreciate your help in bringing this marketing gimmick to light. It was very frustrating. THANK YOU!
A quick search of Seminis will reveal that they are owned by Monsanto. It would be a bit odd for them to have an anti-GMO viewpoint.
Indeed! But being that they don’t have an anti-GMO position, they were included on the list. 🙂
Dennis Laughton says
Amanda, you covered it very nicely. There are very few crops grown that are GMO. None of the vegetable or flowers are GM. The is a new potato variety that is GM to resist late blight which was the cause of the Irish potato famine. A LB resistant potato is a good thing in a garden, if L:B is around it will invariably start in potatoes but will spread to and decimate tomatoes as well. D>
Dennis, you’re right that such a potato is now available. However, it is only available to commercial growers, so a home gardener will not be able to purchase the seed for it.