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I'm sure most regular gardeners are aware of this, but watch your seed packets!

"... it turns out that the seed geniuses, many housed at a university in your state, are hybridizing heirloom-like plants and, you guessed it, patenting the seeds. They have, in their minds, “improved” the plants. In the minds of the rest of us, we should recognize that they have patented and captured the plants that once were common property of gardeners who saved seeds.

Reading a glowing review of these heirlooms in the Wall Street Journal, I’m bummed to see that the first “innovation” was based on the “classic Brandywine tomato.” A breeder in California has developed the “Brandymaster.” She says it has “more uniformly-shaped fruits and better resistance to diseases.”

One of my neighbors raises brandywines, saving the seeds from year to year. I look forward to seeing her at the market, her boxes full of oddly-shaped tomatoes. I never thought the lack of uniformity was a problem. In fact, it lets me choose the shape I’ll use — big sloppy burger bun tomato? Wedges for a salad?

That first hybrid came out three years ago. This year, almost all the good ones have been hybridized for (according the the Journal) “longer shelf life and making shapes more uniform for ease of packing, and creating more compact plants that are easier to maneuver.”

And here’s the really bad part, for all you that love the idea of gardening and farming as an independent gesture of self-sufficiency: 11,000 of the seed patents are owned by Monsanto. They now have an estimated 85-90% of the seed market in the US.

Besides buying parts or all of the major seed companies, Monsanto is a supplier to many of the independents. Those folks may raise a portion of their own seeds, but they also buy in bulk and re-package because, it turns out, consumers are accustomed to such a huge selection that the independents, in order to compete, cannot grow all they need to satisfy buyers.

So, while the hybrids are probably not genetically modified or in need of certain chemicals to survive, the door is open for that kind of manipulation by the mad scientists in the St. Louis suburbs."

From an article http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/146772.
 

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old hand
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7,441 Posts
Wait for it.... ex-hunter will tell you that none of this is true.
I only do that when it is untrue.

What's wrong with that?

* * * * * * * *

I am questioning this statement:
"They now have an estimated 85-90% of the seed market in the US."

... are you referring to garden seed?

And this statement really puzzles me:
"or in need of certain chemicals to survive"

... what do you mean?
 

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old hand
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7,441 Posts
Sigh...****ing Monsanto...of all the corporations, they're the worst. First the nation's milk supply with rBGH and now America's veggies. This corporation should be dismantled...dispicable. Absolute disgrace. Disgusting what this company does, oh how badly I want them taken down. :mad:
What is Monsanto doing to America's veggies?
 

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old hand
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Ex-hunter,

Exactly what position do you hold with Monsanto?

ClarkW
none, never had ... If someone was telling lies about you, I'd stand up for you as well.
I tell the truth, I do what's right.



soon every seed available will have the terminator gene. dont know what that is? google it. but i promise you wont like it.
Google it? I've discussed it with professional agronomists.

Could you describe to me how it works? I'll bet you can't.

How much of the seed offered today has this gene?
 

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old hand
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Nice Betty ... for you and for any other Google inspired experts:

I know there are many internet sources (opinions, blogs, rants) that describe this technology, but ...
There is no Terminator gene, it was an idea that was never developed.
There is no seed offered for sale today that posesses any such trait.

Why can't we stick to facts in this debate?
 

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Lemming herder!
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There is no Terminator gene, it was an idea that was never developed.
There is no seed offered for sale today that posesses any such trait.
Why can't we stick to facts in this debate?
Hey cute attempt at disinformation.
So which facet of monsanto do you work for again.

Its common knowledge that terminator-seed technology has been more than a pipedream for a long time.

Monsanto buys Terminator seed company. Aug 2006

Translated into lay language, D&PL officially declares the purpose of its Patent No. 5,723,765, Control of Plant Gene Expression, is to prevent farmers who once get trapped into buying transgenic or GMO seeds from a company such as Monsanto or Syngenta, from �brown bagging� or being able to break free of control of their future crops by Monsanto and friends. As D&PL puts it, their patent gives them �the prospect of opening significant worldwide seed markets to the sale of transgenic technology in varietal crops in which crop seed currently is saved and used in subsequent seasons as planting seed.�

Instead, the farmer or the country whose farmers depend on Monsanto patented GMO seeds must pay a license fee to Monsanto each year to get new seeds. �No tickee, no laundy,� as the old Brooklyn poet would say.

Terminator is the answer to the agribusiness dream of controlling world food production. No longer would they need to hire expensive detectives to spy on whether farmers were re-using Monsanto or other GMO patented seed. Terminator corn or soybeans or cotton seeds could be genetically modified to �commit suicide� after one harvest season. That would automatically prevent farmers from saving and re-using the seed for the next harvest. The technology would be a means of enforcing Monsanto or other GMO patent rights, and forcing payment of farmer use fees not only in developing economies, where patent rights were, understandably, little respected, but also in industrial OECD countries.

With Terminator patent rights, once a country such as Argentina or Brazil or Iraq or the USA or Canada opened its doors to the spread of GMO patented seeds among its farmers, their food security would be potentially hostage to a private multinational company, a company which, for whatever reasons, especially given its intimate ties to the US Government, might decide to use �food as a weapon� to compel a US-friendly policy from that country or group of countries.

Sound far-fetched? Go back to what then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger did in countries like Allende�s Chile to force a regime change to a �US-friendly� Pinochet dictatorship by withholding USAID and private food exports to Chile. Kissinger dubbed it �food as a weapon.� Terminator is merely the logical next step in food weapon technology.

The role of the US Government in backing and financing Delta & Pine Land�s decades of Terminator research is even more revealing. As Kissinger said back in the 1970�s, �Control the oil and you can control entire Continents. Control food and you control people��

Terminator seed technology commercalization push by DPL/Monsanto. 2005

Last month, Delta & Pine Land and the US Department of Agriculture won new patents on Terminator at the European Patent Office and in Canada. Delta & Pine vows to commercialize Terminator and recently released a new, glossy brochure on its “Technology Protection System.” Go here to read the company’s viewpoint.

In its renewed push to promote Terminator, the seed industry argues that we need genetic seed sterilization to prevent the escape of genes from engineered crops to related plants and wild relatives. They argue that engineered sterility offers a built-in safety feature, because if genes from a Terminator crop escape, the seed produced from unwanted pollination will not germinate – they’ll be sterile.
The biotech industry’s inability to control genetically modified organisms is the Achilles’ heel of ag biotech. The Gene Giants have long insisted that GM technology is safe, precise and predictable, yet the unintended escape of engineered genes demonstrates the inability of regulatory bodies or industry to control and contain GMOs. There’s growing evidence of GM contamination in many areas of the world. For instance, DNA from GM corn has contaminated traditional corn grown by indigenous farmers in Mexico.

The very companies whose GM seeds are causing unwanted contamination are now insisting that society accept a dangerous technology to contain biotech pollution. One thing is certain.

If Terminator is accepted under the guise of biosafety, we’ll see it being used everywhere as a biological tool to enforce industry monopoly.
 

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old hand
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So which facet of monsanto do you work for again.
I am a simple farmer who is interested in truth.

Its common knowledge that terminator-seed technology has been more than a pipedream for a long time.
common knowledge - yes ... (more accurately, common mis-perception)
true - no.
The whole movement has been perpetuated by ignorant/gullible 'lemming herders.'

See, I told you that there were sources that describe this technology.
Please notice that while the authors (not ag professionals or scientists) "Translated into lay language" the ideas, they had to use the words "if" and "prospect" and "would" and "could" and "might" in order to keep their text factual.

It wasn't developed or marketed in 2005 and 2006, and it hasn't been developed or marketed since.

Please Ratbag, show me a bag of terminator seed.
 

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I have control issues
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It's fairly easy to keep Monsanto seeds out of your garden. Buy only heirloom/OP seed from a company such as Seeds of Change that either produces their own seed or "networks" with a co-op of nearby farmers they KNOW raised only heirloom seed saved from their own crops from year to year. Then, when you plant the seed in your garden, allow at least a portion of the plants to "go to seed" so that you can SAVE seed for planting in the future. Not only will you keep Monsanto out of your garden, but you will ALSO save money by NOT having to buy any more seed!
 

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I have no dog in this fight, but am wondering... Ratbag has listed a source (D&PL press release?) for his side of the argument. You've only posted that you've "talked" to so called agronomist's, scientist's and ag professionals. Who are they? What are their credentials? List them so they can be googled. If it is nothing more than your county ag extension agent, not to dicredit his/her abilities but I don't believe that they would necessarily be in the genetic loop so to speak.
 

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old hand
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I have no dog in this fight, but am wondering... Ratbag has listed a source (D&PL press release?) for his side of the argument. You've only posted that you've "talked" to so called agronomist's, scientist's and ag professionals. Who are they? What are their credentials? List them so they can be googled. If it is nothing more than your county ag extension agent, not to dicredit his/her abilities but I don't believe that they would necessarily be in the genetic loop so to speak.
http://www.pioneer.com/web/site/portal/menuitem.9151358c0810e856a0030d05d10093a0/

http://www.croplangenetics.com/

http://www.chsagservices.com/index.cfm?show=10&mid=10

http://www.centrol.com/

I purchase $35,000 - $40,000 worth of seed each year.
I have to make informed decisions about my purchases, my livlihood depends on it.

When 'google'ing for information, make sure you look at the source ... is this fact or is it opinion/blog/rant.
Is the author an expert in the field, or does he/she have an axe to grind.
(you might want to consider that when reading individual posts on these threads as well)
 
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