Retail Suppliers who might have GMO seed

I’ve read a lot of hullabaloo by retail seed sellers (and a few of their fans here) that they do not sell GMO seed.

Well of course they don’t, nor does anyone else retail!

Let’s get the facts straight:

  1. In several states, you can’t buy GMO seed without a license.
  2. IN ALL STATES, the producer of the seed will require you to sign a contract.
  3. The cost of GMO seed is significantly higher than standard seed.
  4. GMO seed is sold in agricultural quantities; e.g. 10 Lbs and up.

The bottom line is that it is very difficult to purchase GMO plants or seeds unaware.


This is a detail that ive been preaching for years. The amount of unnecessary excitement by gardeners about GMO seed is soooo overblown. Go ahead and try to buy GMO seed. Ive tried…without being a large farming outfit its near impossible to get.

Very interesting. I never felt like paying extra for those non-GMO seeds but this is an eye opener for sure!

I did see once GMO’s for sale at a very old nursery supplier for farmers, but they had small quantities available. I don’t for the life of me remember which one though? It appeared you could order them no problem.

Yes, the seed companies are very serious about who they want getting their hands on their very expensive GM traits. A few years back here in Iowa several Chinese citizens were following behind (by a day or so) the corn planter and picking the corn seeds out of the row. They were prosecuted for their deeds under national security laws.


While there may be no GMO seeds available at the consumer retail level, nonetheless the makers of GMO seeds dominate the retail seed market. Since the 2008 economic downturn, Dr. Howard notes that “there have been more than 70 seed company acquisitions by the top eight firms, as well as a number of biotech company acquisitions and joint ventures.” Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta now control over half the global market – a dramatic shift since 1996 when the top three corporations in the global seed industry controlled 22% of the industry.

Seed Industry Structure, 1996 - 2013

There are seed sellers that have little or no seed from these companies - Fedco, Johnny’s, High Mowing, The Cottage Gardener, and others.

For a good backgrounder on genetically engineered foods, see Altered Genes, Twisted Truth

One thing to keep in mind is the line between traditionaly plant breeding and GMO is starting to blur in places, thanks to technologies like DNA sequencing traditional breeding programs can acheive in months or maybe a few years what once took many decades as they are no longer being bound by having to wait for seedlings to mature to confirm the presense of desired traits.

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In my opinion this is fear mongering that gives undue credibility to retail seed sellers that are way-over-the-top with their no-gmo advertising. Consider similar scenarios in other industries, for example GM manufactures both consumer vehicles and very deadly munition deliver systems. I don’t see anyone crying out to boycott GM on that basis.

DNA sequencing has no comparison with the practice of producing hybrids by cross pollination, nor does any U.S. regulatory agency consider them equivalent.


GM sells cars; seed companies sell food. One is a luxury; the other is essential to life. GM selling every last vehicle on the planet does not have the inherent risk of one company selling every last seed on the planet. If GM has government support in its enterprise to litigate against anyone who they consider to be a threat against its franchise it is not the same as one seed company having a similar type of government support. We have already seen the second scenario: Monsanto sued Percy Schmeiser because their patented seed was found in his fields. One can believe Monsanto - xttp:// or one can look at a “peer reviewed” assessment - xttps://

With regard to fear mongering, the GMO discussion is without a doubt a emotionally charged rant with little examination of the facts. Let’s start with Monsanto’s product - xttp:// > “Genuity® Roundup Ready® canola contains in-plant tolerance to Roundup® agricultural herbicides and increases yield potential for canola farmers.” Let’s unbundle the product into it’s two pieces - the genetically engineered seed and the herbicide Roundup. We know that the use of Roundup has exploded. We know that Roundup alters soil biology - xttp:// and reduces soil fertility.

As to the genetically engineered seed, one can choose to accept Monsanto’s test results which were the basis of the EPA decision to approve the product and the FDA’s GRAS ruling - xttp:// or one can look at the internal memo’s of EPA scientists - xttps://,

If one chooses to accept Monsanto’s testing results, I would point to the tobacco industry - xttp:// No company is going to provide evidence that is anything less than positive. There was no independent testing of GMO products. There were no long term studies. Monsanto actively fights independent research - xttp://

So why would a company knowingly sell a product that eventually will cost them money? Short term profits and cost-benefit analysis. It’s not new - xttps://

Apologies to all but the forum does not new members to have more than two links in a post so I have changed http to xttp.

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Please take your monsanto rant elsewhere.

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That article says nothing of the sort, it basically said Ford was screwed and didn’t deserve to be targeted. Nice try though!

From the internal Ford Pinto memo:

Re: Monsanto rant, this thread started out with “Let’s get the facts straight:”. I was just trying to do that with facts. If I’ve got any facts wrong in what I posted, I’d be happy to have them corrected.


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This a site about fruit, vegetables and flowers, not car manufacturers.

Agreed. Too bad they were introduced into the thread about seeds.

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Everyone please remember the basic principles of our TOS and treat each other with respect while discussing, not arguing. the topic. Personal issues are better handled privately. Staff is mindful of this thread, and will be quick to lock it down if gets further out of hand.

@DGGreen , this is a friendly community of individuals interested in growing fruit. I encourage you to utilize the Introducing Myself to Scott’s Forum thread to tell us a little about yourself and your fruit growing interests. Also, join in some other friendly fruit growing discussions so that others may become familiar with you on more comfortable ground.

Thanks, all. Let’s get this discussion back on a friendly, cooperative track so that we can all learn from one other, and avoid getting it locked down.

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@MuddyMess_8a, thanks for the invitation to introduce myself. I’ve done so. It would seem that my detailed info on genetically engineered seeds and the companies that sell them aggravated some members. It’s a very polarizing subject and it certainly wasn’t my intention to polarize but rather to educate. I would hope that this is an open forum where the subject can be discussed/debated without ranting, name calling or straying into hyperbole, or at least, not too far into hyperbole…

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That’s exactly what we strive for. :slightly_smiling: There are many well educated members here who hold varying well thought out opinions on subjects. It’s a normal reaction for people to become defensive of their community when a stranger steps into a hot topic conversation without introduction. I hope you participate in and enjoy the more relaxing threads as well the occasional touchy ones.

I agree, I did not bring the subject up. I just saw a huge misconception, and spreading of a myth against a very good company. The memo was for all US cars, not pintos, not just Fords. As stated in the linked article. Yet the attempt to deceive continues. Ditto what Scott said too.

Drew dear, I was not speaking to you or your comments. I was addressing the new gent who is raging.

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