Am I the last to know?

obsessed

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I don't LIKE what is happening with Monsanto. I have read enough to know that lack of diversity in a serious problem. But I don't know how I can stop it. I try to buy heritage seeds for SSE or Bakers Creek but they are not all that. They take forever to germinate or just produce in general. I have done a ton of tomatoes and those terminator seeds are basically the only ones that survive my seed starting skill and transplanting ablity.
 

nittygrittydirtdigger

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"There's some "diversity" in my gardening, I'd like to think "

I think diversity in gardening is a very good thing. Monsanto doesn't. Kinda like the All Monsanto All The Time Garden. Otherwise, why sue the neighboring farmer whose crops got cross-pollinated with Monsanto-originating pollen? Maybe they should try to sue the pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc), since they are the ones who "took" the Monsanto pollen and created the cross-pollination. But as the above poster stated, their BT corn is already killing off the butterflies....a much more permanent solution to this outright pollen thievery committed by said Monarchs.
 

davaroo

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SO whats Monsanto's take on this? What's their side of the debate? Anybody have links to that?

For the record, there is nothing new about a company selling its own, proprietary seed. There were competitive "seed wars" in the 19th Century that would surprise us today, with out fair trade laws. How do you think we GOT all this diversity we love, in the first place?
Someone deliberately bred the plant, that's how. It didn't exist, so they crossed and manipulated and spliced and voila! Something new was born. My favorite tomato is the 'Rutgers' variety - one that was "engineered" via manipulation in the 1930's. Today it is an 'heirloom.' Go figger.

Frankly, I rather doubt Monsanto gives a rats derriere about what you do in your garden, or some seed seller offering heirloom bush beans. Diversity is, indeed, best employed by the small guy. And as Steve suggests nearly all the 'bio-diverse' seed sellers obtain their seeds from larger concerns - where the crops are manipulated to give predictable results.

Even the much lauded Seed Savers has grown huge from it's humble beginnings. It 'aint a few people handing around seeds, anymore. Now that they offer large quantities of the same seed to all the same people - well, what is so diverse about that?
True diversity is really only possible at the local level.

Again, I wonder what Monsanto has to say 'bout all this. Global domination by seed?
Interesting notion...
 

seedcorn

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digitS' said:
There seems to be a common thought that seed catalog companies are growing their own seed. It also looks to me that the catalog companies, themselves, encourage this notion. I suspect that the reality is that they grow very, very little generally.

First of all, they are in the retail sales business. That, in itself, must take a lot of corporate resources and focus.

Next, imagine that a particular hybrid is a popular favorite. We know that a hybrid is the product of 2 (or more) different parent lines. Who owns these parents and who is doing the hybridizing? It isn't likely to be the 10 or 20 seed companies that are selling the hybrid seed. It is one seed company that is paying folks to walk around with paintbrushes and bags, spreading pollen and isolating flowers. The product of their efforts is being distributed thru catalog sales.

If you have a favorite variety, hybrid or otherwise, and Monsanto buys the seed company that produces it - what are you going to do? You can take a principled stand and refuse to ever grow that variety again. Maybe I haven't thought this issue thru but I've continued to buy some seed even after ownership has been snatched up by Monsanto. And, consolidation in the seed "industry" has been the name of the game recently, just like in so many other industries.

If you go entirely with heirloom seed, you gotta admit that there were reasons why some varieties fell into disfavor. Maybe it was the processing, storage, and transportation methods of the food industry. But, some of the reasons for obsolescence apply to you, the gardener, rather than the food industry.

Often, new varieties have been better adapted to the growing conditions of certain areas of the country. Heirlooms can be very restricted in their performance. It isn't always the case. I mean, if the Brandywine tomato could only grow well in the Brandywine valley of Pennsylvania and northern Delaware, gardeners elsewhere wouldn't have much interest in this variety.

Adaptability is important to my gardening success. I grow some new varieties, some hybrids, and some heirlooms. In fact, for the last 15 years, I've grown a family heirloom tomato my grandmother grew during the Depression. It is one of 6 or 8 tomato varieties I grow. Fortunately Grandmother's tomato is happy here, nearly 2,000 miles from where she grew it and hundreds of miles from where my uncle kept it going for several decades.

I ate one of the first 2 to ripen on the plants just this morning! My wife had the other one. It is her favorite tomato (she likes them on the mild side) but her family wasn't even in the United States when Grandmother was growing these in her garden.

There's some "diversity" in my gardening, I'd like to think :).

Steve
You understand the seed business very well. In corn/soybean seed, 5 companies do about 98% of the breeding. What most companies propogate as "research" is trying different lines they bought/licensed from the 5 breeder companies. You do not want to know of the regulation/rules of doing that now.

Pollen that lands on weeds will not kill butterflies or anyother insect, not enough active Bt gene to do it. Now if they feed on the silks/tassels, that's a different story.

With Monsanto's terminator technology Not their technology....they would have licensed it from another company. NOT TO DEFEND Monsanto, but everytime a different event is released, Monsanto gets the blame whether they release it or not.
 

nittygrittydirtdigger

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From Wikipedia:

This article is about the corporation. For other uses, see Monsanto (disambiguation).
Monsanto Company
Type Agriculture/Public (NYSE: MON)
Founded St. Louis, Missouri (1901)
Headquarters Creve Coeur, Missouri, USA
Key people John Francis Queeny (1859C1933), Founder
Hugh Grant, Chairman, President, & CEO
Terrell K. Crews, CFO
Robb Fraley, Chief Technology Officer

Industry Agriculture
Products Herbicides, pesticides, crop seeds
Revenue $11.365 billion USD (2008)
Net income $2.024 billion USD (2008)
Employees 21,700 (2009)
Website www.monsanto.com
The Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) is a United States-based multinational agricultural biotechnology corporation. It is the world's leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, marketed as "Roundup". Monsanto is also the leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed, holding 90% market share for various crops[1]. It is headquartered in Creve Coeur, Missouri.[2]

Agracetus, owned by Monsanto, exclusively produces Roundup Ready soybean seed for the commercial market. In 2005, it finalized purchase of Seminis Inc, making it the world's largest conventional seed company.

Monsanto's development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation and political lobbying practices, have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the anti-globalization movement and
environmental activists.

And I guess this part explains the point of it all:

Revenue $11.365 billion USD (2008)
Net income $2.024 billion USD (2008)

And no, I don't think there's anything wrong with turning an honest profit....keyword being "honest".
 

davaroo

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nittygrittydirtdigger said:
Monsanto's development and marketing of genetically engineered seed and bovine growth hormone, as well as its aggressive litigation and political lobbying practices, have made the company controversial around the world and a primary target of the anti-globalization movement and
environmental activists.

And I guess this part explains the point of it all:

Revenue $11.365 billion USD (2008)
Net income $2.024 billion USD (2008)

And no, I don't think there's anything wrong with turning an honest profit....keyword being "honest".
As the citation mentions, they are merely the subject of controversy. So were Jesus and Ghandi, if you'll recall. Nothing dishonest in that.

I work for the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. We hold patents and rights to more drugs than you can count, many our exclusive property. Millions of people live better lives thanks to us. Malaria is being controlled in the developing world, free of charge, thanks to us. Ditto lymphatic filariasis. Thanks to us.

Are we horrid? To some people, certainly.
Profitable? Absolutely.
The subject of controversy? Undoubtedly.

I'm not defending Monsanto if they are sticking it to people. So far, I haven't seen anything that proves they are. People gotta eat, you know.
 

nittygrittydirtdigger

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The terminator seeds are an abomination, but I understand (don't condone) their purpose. What really gets me fired up is Monsanto's aggressive...some would say illegal....methods of finding out if their "owned" modified genetics have escaped into others' fields. I will try to find a source for the info, but they have trespassed onto farmers' fields to collect samples of the crops, so they could then examine those crops to determine if there were any of their (Monsanto's) modified genes in the crops from the other fields. If there were, then Monsanto claimed the crops as their own.

So, I plant a bunch of tomatoes. Bees or whatever come along from your side of the fence and pollinate the 'matoes. You jump the fence and swipe some fruits, scientifically determine that they were pollinated from "your" pollen, and claim my tomatoes. That is just wrong. Monsanto has gotten away with it, though, because they have very deep legal pockets, and most of the non-corporate farmers are land-rich and cash-poor so can't fight back in court.
 

big brown horse

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This is seriously a very bad company. It invented round up then invented a soy bean to withstand the effects of round up. Round up is sprayed onto the soybean crops to control weeds. Do you want to feed your family anything that has been "treated" with round up while it was growing in the fields? NOT ME!! :sick

Hello???!!!! Round up???!!! Are they insane? Well, yeah I think they are...but I'm really not allowed to say because of the "Veggie Liable law." :rolleyes:

Lots of political ties too...quite frightening!! :somad Stay far away from Monsanto.
 

Catalina

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I just wanted to say that The Cook's Garden was bought out by Burpee's in 2003 and Burpee's buys from Monsanto, so.......now you know!
 

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