The Safe Seed Pledge - Horticulture

The Safe Seed Pledge

In response to the increasing proliferation of genetically modified seeds, these mail-order seed companies have signed the Safe Seed Pledge.
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Genetically Modified Seeds

Genetically modified seeds have had their genetic material altered using genetic engineering techniques. The intent may be to create plants resistant to certain pests, herbicides or environmental conditions, to increase nutritional value or to enhance certain aesthetic traits, among other purposes.

There is some controversy surrounding genetic modification. Opponents cite the unknown negative side effects of the practice and the potential impact on the food chain, in addition to general disapproval of meddling with evolution. Organic farmers are concerned about pollen from GM plants reaching their crops. Genetically modified seeds are patented by the companies that develop them, and farmers can’t grow them without purchasing a license. Fresh seed must be purchased each year, because saving seeds of a patented plant is illegal. The largest seed developers drop open-pollinated and heirloom varieties, which can’t be patented, from their catalogs in favor of GM seeds they can own, meaning gardeners have trouble finding old-fashioned favorites.

The Safe Seed Pledge

In response to the proliferation of genetically modified seeds, some seed distributors have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, which reads:

“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 people and communities.”

Here are some mail-order seed companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge:

Abundant Life Seeds

www.abundantlifeseeds.com

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

www.rareseeds.com

Cubit’s Organics

www.cubitsorganics.com

Garden Medicinals and Culinaries

www.gardenmedicinals.com



Golden Harvest Organics

www.ghorganics.com

Gourmet Seed International

www.gourmetseed.com

Grandma’s Garden/Underwood Gardens

www.grandmasgarden.com

Granny’s Heirloom Seeds

www.grannysheirloomseeds.com

Johnny’s Selected Seeds

www.johnnyseeds.com

John Scheeper’s Kitchen Garden Seeds

www.kitchengardenseeds.com

Heirloom Acres

www.heirloomacres.com

High Mowing Organic Seeds

www.highmowingseeds.com

Native Seeds/SEARCH

www.nativeseeds.org

New Hope Seed Company

www.newhopeseed.com

Nichols Garden Nursery

www.nicholsgardennursery.com

Renee’s Garden Seeds

www.reneesgarden.com

Richters Herb Specialists

www.richters.com

Salt Spring Seeds

www.saltspringseeds.com

Seeds of Change

www.seedsofchange.com

Seed Savers Exchange

www.seedsavers.org

Seeds Trust

www.seedstrust.com

Select Seeds Antique Flowers

www.selectseeds.com

Sky Fire Garden Seeds

www.skyfiregardenseeds.com

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

www.southernexposure.com

Sustainable Seed Company

www.sustainableseedco.com

Territorial Seed Company

www.territorial-seed.com



The Thyme Garden

www.thymegarden.com

Victory Seed Company

www.victoryseeds.com

West Coast Seeds

www.westcoastseeds.com

Wood Prairie Farm

www.woodprairie.com

Read a descriptive list of organic, non-organic, heirloom and modern seed suppliers