Given the recent federal rulings on genetically-engineered (GE) sugar beets and deregulation of GE alfalfa, it falls on the consumer to know what they are buying. To help you keep biotech seeds out of your own garden, the Council for Responsible Genetics sponsors the Safe Seed Program, and maintains a list of seed companies that have taken the Safe Seed Pledge.
The Safe Seed Pledge:
“Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who
want an alternative,
We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.
The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.”
A partial listing of signers:
• Markham Farm: www.markhamfarm.com
• FedCo Seeds: www.fedcoseeds.com
• The Heirloom Garden of Maine: www.theheirloomgarden.com
• Johnny’s Selected Seeds: www.johnnyseeds.com
• The Maine Potato Lady: www.mainepotatolady.com
• Wood Prairie Farm: www.woodprairie.com
• The Cook’s Garden: www.cooksgarden.com
• Dirt Works: www.dirtworks.net
• High Mowing Organic Seeds: www.highmowingseeds.com
In planning your garden this year, please consider patronizing those who’ve signed the Safe Seed Pledge and support them in preserving the integrity of our seed supply. For the full list, visit www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org.