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monsanto owned seed companies

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

posted this in heirloom seeds but was asked to post here for more readers:

I hate to preach doom and gloom but monsanto is buying up seed companies at an alarming rate, and they are the largest seller of GMO seeds in the world. I am afraid that groups like this will be the only thing saving heirloom seeds from extinction. maybe my fears are unjustified, if so, sorry for this post.

Audubon Workshop
Breck’s Bulbs
Cook’s Garden
Dege Garden Center
Earl May Seed
E & R Seed Co
Ferry Morse
Flower of the Month Club
Gardens Alive
Germania Seed Co
Garden Trends
Johnny’s Seeds
Lindenberg Seeds
McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
Mountain Valley Seed
Park Seed
Park Bulbs
Park’s Countryside Garden
R.H. Shumway
Roots and Rhizomes
Seeds for the World
Seymour’s Selected Seeds
Spring Hill Nurseries
Territorial Seeds
T&T Seeds
Tomato Growers Supply
Totally Tomato
Vermont Bean Seed Co.
Wayside Gardens
Willhite Seed Co.

they also own many more companies that have supposedly taken a "safe seed" pledge but we all know that the bottom line is money.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I think you forgot a couple.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Do you really know what you are talking about ?
This is off of Johnny's web site as of October 22, 2012.

Johnny's is a Proud Employee-Owned Company

Johnny’s Selected Seeds was a sole proprietorship from January 1973 until July 1975, when the company was incorporated in Maine. Over the years, Johnny’s has grown on the good graces of its customers, and the company had never received investments from any source. This changed in July 2006, when Johnny’s Selected Seeds took investment from its employees. Johnny's became 100% employee owned in June of 2012.

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

just google "list of monsanto owned seed companies" Yes i know what i am talking about. Monsanto/Semenis is slowly but surely buying up seed companies, many more than are listed here. When it was proven that roundup is killing bees, they bought the company that did the research. Other countries have total bans or at least restictions on GMOs. We cant even pass laws to get them labeled.
and yes, i am on a soapbox, they are doing more harm then good.

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

here is one of many links that provide information

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

That message doesn't provide any references and even claims that he/she can't vouch for the accuracy of the list. I think I will wait for something a bit more authoritative before I start running around like a chicken with my head cut off. A side point, though, is that gene-spliced seeds are expensive, and seed companies are not just going to start slipping them to consumers unaware.

The GMO seeds that are available can only be purchased by commercial farmers, and currently they have to sign all sorts of agreements about managing the crop and the fields. Almost all the seeds we use are genetically modified by selective breeding and hybridization. Growers have been tracking those genetic changes since before Gregor Mendel-- so far those haven't caused anyone to have a two-headed baby. A little less frenzy and a little more thought would be useful when it comes to growing. If it weren't for corporate agriculture and big farms, the world would have a lot less food available.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

I agree.
A researcher at U of MN, recently sent out a study. Chemicals used on organic crops were found on the fruits & vegetables in super markets. Chemicals used on commercial crops were non existent.

Furthermore, commercial farmers have to follow labels to the letter, no if some is good, more is better.

We raise vegetables for a large Farmers Market, (a lot of vegetables). Our policy is to use as little as possible as far as chemicals go. Absolutely no bug sprays! As for me, I think those are the ones that get people sick, etc. If it will kill a bug, it probably will kill you, eventually.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Seminis no longer exists. all of the companies owned by Seminis were purchsed by Monsanto as an investrment and while at first some panicked thinking that would convert Petoseed to GMO's that hasn't happened and many of us doubt it will./

But I know darm well that not all of the companies you list are owned by Monsanto b'c I've known the owners of some of them for many years.

Johnny's has been mentioned and they are not a Monsanto company

Jungs was mentioned and ditto on that, not Monsanto, and they bought all the stable of companies originally owned by Wayne Hilton, which includeds Vermont Bean, Seymour's Seeds,. Shumway and Totally Tomatoes and I think the original HPS but I didn''t confirm that.

Nichols Seed is still owned by Rosemary Nichols and her husband, whose last name I've forgotten.

Tomato Growers is owned by Linda Sapp, who took over when her husbavd Vince died so tragically a few years ago and I've known Linda since about 1990 and have sent seeds for her to trial almopst every year.

Someone somewhere did some very poor research, IMO, suggesting that all the companies listed were owned by Monsanto.

I could name some other cpmpanies but I think I've made my point that the list is not to be trusted.

Carolyn, who is always amazed to see that some are anti=Monsanto, anti Syngenta, etc. I'm not a fan of GMO's and some of their practices, but I don't go around criticizing as so many do. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I just stated mine. Being a long time Life Member of SSE for many years we were bombarded with ant-Monsanto stuff but in the past few years the publications other than the annual yearbook have not had that much anti- GMO stuff b/c I think that some folks are just plain sick and tired of it. Please, no offense to the original poster, but I do read and post at several message sites so kind of know what the current trends are outside of DG.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

The link "" says to avoid any company that does business with Monsanto. That's pretty smart I would say. Has anyone ever heard the expression, "to cut off your nose to spite your face?"

I suppose that anyone that won't buy ANY seed that touches a Monsanto company is also internally consistent and won't buy any product from: Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, and any other evil corporate store-- after all they sell Monsanto products. And I'm sure that you won't buy groceries from any store that sells product grown from Monsanto seed, or that used any Monsanto product. Also, are you grinding your own flour, raising your own beef, pork, and chicken? Will that 4 x 20 ft raised bed be enough to supply your family with food for the entire year? Finally, be sure that your 401K or retirement mutual funds don't invest in any companies that are related to Monsanto or that do business with them. You wouldn't want to make any profit from the demon corporation.

Again I say, without big Ag and corporate farmers most people in America would be living a third-world existence, unable to produce and preserve enough nutrition for subsistence. Eliminate those high-volume producers and we would soon be hoping for relief shipments from China. The density in our cities and towns would be completely unsustainable.

Don't support GMO crops if you chose, but be rational about. Don't buy the seeds and don't buy the product. If there is no demand, then there will be no incentive to produce GMO crops. Corporations are in the business of making money for their shareholders (see paragraph 2 above--are you one of those shareholders?). They make money by producing products that have demand. It seems that there is at least a demand for GMO corn and Round-Up. Ironically, the need for more Round-Up (and then RU resistant corn) is driven by the more ecologically friendly techniques of no-till farming. A farmer can bust up the dirt to control weeds (making it subject to erosion and muddying waterways) or use chemicals...

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I think some of these companies sell Monstantos seeds (many known hybrids) but the companies themselves are not owned by Monsantos.

I personally don't want to eat corn or anything that has been saturated with Round Up. It may lead to less tilling but... muddy waterways seem less dangerous then Round up filled ones, at least to me.

There seems to be some on going confusion that GMOs seeds are readily available to the general public, but they aren't. They are very expensive and the farmers must sign paperwork when purchasing them. We are more likely to run into GMOs in the grain section of a supermarket.

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

And my bad for not reading that link first, which does say to avoid, and NOT that the companies are owned by Monsanto as was posted.

Personally I'm not against all GMO b'c of the medical importance of some of the wonderful products that have kept many individuals alive, have improved lives, etc.

Anyone interested in the medical applications of GMO's can Google the references.

Right now there's a long and interesting thread at Tville about a possible transgenic creation and this one is about putting a pepper gene into a tomato b'c that gene would give tolerance to Bacterial Spot. it's not easy to read for the lay person not familiar with the field, but there are several who are posting who are scientitsts, one who works at BASF Plant Science at Research Triangle park in NC. And he's the one who just put up a thread about the many tomato crosses he made this past summer and offering to send the F1 seeds to anyone and only asks for F2 seeds back from the growouts.

I must say I thank you Dreaves for redirecting me to that link again, well, not again, b/c I never read it in the first place once I saw that there was so much wrong with that list in terms of it supposedly being a list of companies OWNED by Monsanto.


Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)


In general, I agree that fewer chemicals are better. But if you were the farmer watching your fields wash away and losing the ability to grow anything you might try a method that uses more chemicals to keep your land. It's far from perfect, and as I said earlier, the way to eliminate problem GMO is to change the demand.

Did you know that BT/Dipel is produced using a GMO?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

That's a certified organic chemical.
We use it all the time. Can't sell cabbage with holes or broccoli full of worms.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I guess I'm a little confused as to how this thread got turned into a thread about GMOs? Risingcreek started it to show companies that were owned (right or wrong) by Monsantos. I looked back at the thread and I see that GMOs where brought up but I'm not sure why. Is that the only concern, I really don't see why GMOs became the main topic when most of what Monsantos sells are not GMOs. No,I didn't know that bt was a GMO, I have never heard that before. But I don't really care bc I don't garden organically I prefer to use the safest product which is not always organic.

Since most herbicides are also toxic to fauna the implications could be disastrous. I have always read that GMOs can not be labled organic so I would like to see some proof that bt is a GMO. But like I said above i'm still wondering why GMOs became the topic of this thread?

Edited to add : bt is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the soil. It is toxic mainly to catapilliars. It IS NOT GM. It is put into the genes of certain food producing plants (making THEM GMOs) so that they are "immune" to damaging catapilliars.

This message was edited Oct 23, 2012 9:43 PM

Salem, NY(Zone 4b)

Lisa, I think that there was talk of GMO's b/c Monsanto and Syngenta as well, are best known for all the GMO seeds that they sell for various crops worldwide and both have been targets of those who are anti-GMO for various reasons. As I said above many were worried when Monsanto bought out Seminis that Petoseed in particular, would be forced to redirect their activities to developing GMO tomato varieties. That has not happened and probably will not happen/

And you are correct that BT, and there are several different BT's that have different target populations, are not GMO at all. One of the reasons that the various BT's are sold in dark colored bottles is so that the live bacteria and some spores still in the bottle last longer as well as the protein toxin crystals which are sensitive to light. BT toxin, the xstals,is made in huge vats and the product sold is not pure toxin but also does include some live bacteria and the spores of those bacteria which hadn't yet germinated to a live bacterial form b'c it's the bacteria themselves that make the toxin/

And yes, various genes for the different BT's have been introduced to seeds of different crops making the plants themselves GMO, whether it's cotton or corn or soybeans, etc.

Carolyn, who lives in dairy country and can tell when she sees GMO corn in a field b'c the leaves are very broad and upswept, quite different from non-GMO corn.

This message was edited Oct 24, 2012 1:21 AM

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

I did some review today, and I stand corrected on the commercial production of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki, which is used for Dipel and Thuricide. They are produced by fermentation with the actual BT microbe. I was basing my comment on a couple of papers I wrote 20 years ago as a grad student. At that time, there was a lot of work with recombinant combinations of E. coli and plasmids from B. thuringiensis. They were using the E. coli to produce the Cry toxin since its genetics were well understood and it was easy to produce in relatively large volumes. I believe that recombinant products are still used in the lab. I'm not in that field, though, so I haven't kept up. In fact, as my misinformation on BT shows, I'm not in the field at all... maybe somewhere near the pond. : )

It is interesting that there are many BT varieties that aren't toxic to anything. New varieties are being "bred" (not really genetic engineering) by mixing strains of B. thuringiensis and creating new genetic capabilities through conjugation. Apparently, most of the information about production is very proprietary, since I could find little on the web. A BT varieties for beetles and for mosquitoes (plus some fly larvae) have been selected using conjugation. There are some genetically modified versions using Psuedomonas as a capsule for the toxin, but I could find little about them.

Here is a general fact sheet on BT. I found it in several different places. It is a bit out of date, but does have some interesting information. See the section on "Prohibited Types" for the mention of the rDNA and genetically engineered products.

David R.

Edited to add the link

This message was edited Oct 24, 2012 8:31 PM

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Carolyn thank you for clearing up the issue on Bt and GMOs. I realize that monsantos is known for GMOs but I think the bigger issue is that there is so much misinformation readily available on the web.

Risingcreek-found the info on many sites (I also did a google search, just for grins, and got a ton of hits). Im not going to blame the messenger for the message, especially bc RC didn't mention GMOs, but Seed Companies that were owned (right or wrong) by Monsantos. To me that's the bigger issue, so many people that are getting this info don't realize it's not correct, bc it comes from many different sources.

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Lisa, RisingCreek did mentigon GMOs, second sentence of the first message. The focus of the message, though, was about Monsanto controlling seed companies, with the implied message that they would seize control of the market and limit what growers can produce. They may have a large influence, but it would be difficult for them to control even most seed sources.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes David, your right. RC did mention GMOs. I guess I'm tired of hearing about them also. Lol Ive always known that the net isn't a reliable source of information but I find it rather alarming that SO many sights are spreading the same false rumor. We, on DG are more aware then the average consumer, at least I feel we are so I don't even like to think of the damage that this amount of misinformation will do to average consumers.

Most of the info I've seen never makes it clear that GMOs are not available to the home gardener, are very expensive and regulated. Like you and I have both mentioned so there will always be seed suppliers that don't sell GMOs, but I'm still wondering how come that info is so hard to find when the wrong info came up on google so readily?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

It's like all protests. The people protesting get the coverage, the other 98% never say anything, so it goes.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

That's true, but to write on the Internet, on more then one site, that companies are owned or associated with a company that they aren't associated with is slander. Until RC listed the sites I wasn't aware of how prevalent it is. So, if nothing else, I'm glad that information was made available. I wonder if there is anything those companies can do or if they are even aware of it? I wonder if Linda at TGS knows her Co. is on this list? These smaller seed Cos work really hard and I don't think they would like the misinformation that is out there.

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Interesting thread ..... I think the subject is poison.... I seen millions..

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Seen the corn that looked subtly wrong somehow-plastic, thick, wrong color green- but I also know the AMOUNT of water it took to keep it growing this year. Know why now.

Vista, CA

Lisa, You may be better off with the Roundup on your corn instead of the Muddy Water.

I was the guinea pig in a Roundup experiment when my hired hand shot me square in my face, from two feet away, with a commercial spray rig, at 60 pounds of pressure. I did not have time to close my eyes, my mouth, nor to cover my nose, so i had lots of it everywhere.

I started for the house, figuring i would be blind or dead, long before i got there, but felt absolutely nothing as a consequence of it. But I have seen muddy water that i would not want to do that with. But i have met many people that are terrified of using Roundup.

When i see heated discussions like this one about GMO has been, it reminds me of the Spotted Owl controversy, that needlessly and wrongfully, destroyed the Northwestern Lumber Industry, Sawmills, Logging Companies, Towns, Merchants, Families, etc, all because some well meaning but mislead activists started a movement. So, i think people should wait until somebody dies before they have the Autopsies.


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

The first thing in this thread that makes sense.
I was blasted in the face with a mixture of 28% liquid nitrogen, Atrazine, and Lasso in 1975. I just went to emergency room & they flushed my eyes. Doctor looked over labels, which we were required to carry on us when spraying crops, & said nothing would hurt me.
I am still healthy, don't wear glasses, so must not affected me.
Soon millions of cattle, pigs, turkeys, & chickens will be running free. The activists will still be wearing shoes.
And so it goes!

Hutto, TX(Zone 8b)

Ernie & Bernie-- Thanks for realistic comments from people that have actually used the chemical products. So many people are running around and waving their hands around, and they only know what someone else who is already an alarmist tells them.


Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Well, I use Roundup myself. Our younger son is extremely alergic to poison ivy. Even though he is older now we still spray any poison ivy we find. If the dogs get into the poison ivy and then he plays with them (neither the dogs nor son can resist romping everytime they see each other) his face and hands will swell and turn red. Docs have told him each time will bring slightly more extreme symptoms. Have tried other solutions to kill the poison ivy (yes, even vinegar and salt mixture), but Rondup works. We also have 75 acres worth of fence and cross fence lines.

Vista, CA


Since you use it, you are probably familiar with the fact that Roundup they sell to homeowners and gardeners is just a shadow of what they sell to farmers for really killing weeds, and which i used for the eyewash and gargle that one time. But after using the domestic mix here i found it so weak it took several times to eliminate the weeds and i came to the conclusion it was better to hit it once with the stronger mix and be done with it. Sorry to hear your son is allergic to poison ivy. I am not familiar with it, but have heard it is very uncomfortable.


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I'm not at all against using Round Up, especially for the home gardener. Although it is harmful to fauna too, the beneficial and the not so beneficial. Im more concerned with the misinformation. If these companies aren' t owned by Monsanto I wish the misinformation wasn't out there, to me, that's the most dangerous thing of all.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

This stuff is called social media. A coach at a local school is in trouble because of a "Twitter" he sent a high school girl. A harmless quote from a movie that was taken the wrong way.
Same thing happens with this stuff. Someone puts something out & it is taken as gospel.
I, for one, do not have a Twitter acct & am only on Facebook for some unknown reason. I didn't sign up & never would have. So I get this e-mail about daily, "You have notifications pending". What is this junk, people I have no idea who they are, wanting to be "friends".
Delete gets used a lot here!

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Ernie, actually we have an ag lisence and are also lisenced to buy to good stuff in TX. We try to only use it only once a year. We follow all directions and store it in a locked cabinet.

Vista, CA

Obviously you did not need my comments, but i hope it helps others that are nervous about using chemicals. They can all be dangerous and we should be careful with them, just like we are careful to stay on our side of the double yellow lines when meeting cars going 70 miles an hour, just a few inches away.

But modern life is dangerous and we should not live in fear of any of it. Just be careful and get the benefits from it. It would be very hard to try to farm or garden without the use of the chemicals, so i am grateful we do have them.


Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Its cool! ☺ I'm pretty excited that we are finally a farm!

Vista, CA

I understand your pleasure and excitement. I was born on a farm that was lost early in the depression, but grew up hearing talk about it. It was not until i was nearly 60, that i was able to become a farmer, but i enjoyed those 18 years very much.


Helena, MT

OK, all this mumbo jumbo aside, why isn't anyone asking the question: Why is Monsato buying up all these seed companies?

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)

Why is Wal-mart running all competition out of business ?

Anderson, IN(Zone 6a)

Doom and gloom business is in monopoly fail.... as is free enterprise!!!! The corporation will be running us all shortly... as though it is not presently ....(music from Jaws)do doot , do doot,,,, doot doot doot . Yep i'm ate up!!

Vista, CA

Capitalism is certainly not perfect, but it does seem to work better than the other "isms". We may find out for sure in the next few years.

Maybe the proper questions are? Why do the independent seed growers sell to Mosanto, and Why does the average person/customer choose to shop at Walmart instead of at the Mom and Pop stores? Neither Monsanto nor Walmart could make those deals without a willing partner.

Pogo hit on the proper answer when he said, "I has seen the enemy, and he is US."


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