Who Owns Who? Devotees of the Great Monsanto

For those that frequently read my blog, I think it comes through very loud and clear where I stand on my perspectives with Monsanto. While I will not fully type out my exact words of what I think, let’s just say that there is no grey for me. With the statements I have publicly made in the past, I will likely find myself dead in a ditch someday or in jail for not stroking the fur of Monsanto’s hairy back just the right way.

Recently I was asked by a online gardening friend where they could go to buy seeds if they wanted to avoid Monsanto. Well, of course, the obvious places would be Baker Creek, Seed Savers Exchange, etc. and so on. “But what companies should I avoid? I don’t want to accidentally support someone that even agrees with their practices.” What,  not want to agree with the folks that think that they own every seed in the world and you are wrong to think otherwise?

Back in 2005, people were shocked when Monsanto purchased Seminis.  At that time, Seminis controled 40% of the U.S. vegetable seed market and 20% of the world market. If you do the math, this means that they supplied approximately 56% of the lettuce, 75% of the tomatoes, and 85% of the peppers that finds it’s way to your supermarket shelf.  If that’s not scary, consider also that about half of the beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and peas you buy at the store comes from them too. The company’s biggest revenue source comes from tomato and peppers seeds, followed by cucumbers and beans.

In large part, these numbers reflect usage of Seminis varieties within large industrial production geared towards supermarkets, but Seminis seeds are also widely used by regional conventional and organic farmers as well as market and home gardeners. J.W. Jung, HPS, Vermont Bean Seed, Totally Tomatoes, R.H.Shumway’s, Nichol’s, Rupp, Osborne, Snow, and Stokes are among the dozens of commercial and garden seed catalogs that carry the more than 3,500 varieties that comprise Seminis’ offerings. This includes dozens of All-American Selections and an increasing number of varieties licensed to third parties for certified organic seed production.

Scary, huh?


Gold Country Seed
Hubner Seed
Jung Seed Genetics
Kruger Seeds
Lewis Hybrids
Rea Hybrids
Stone Seed Group
West Bred


(Image used with permission of http://www.realfarmacy.com.)


Per contractual agreements with these companies, Monsanto may also dictate the location of their product’s within the purchaser’s website and/or catalog.  You can see more about this in my previous article on the subject.)

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
J.W. Jung Seed
Lindenberg Seeds
McClure and Zimmerman Quality Bulb Brokers
Mountain Valley Seed
Park Bulbs
Park’s Countryside Garden
Plants of Distinction
R.H. Shumway
Roots and Rhizomes
Seeds for the World
Seymour’s Selected Seeds
Spring Hill Nurseries
T&T Seeds
Tomato Growers Supply
Totally Tomato
Vermont Bean Seed Co.
Wayside Gardens
Willhite Seed Co.
American Seeds
De Ruiter
Diener Seeds
Fielder’s Choice
Heritage Seeds
Western Seeds


If you are thinking now, “where can I buy seed from?”, here is a list of Non-GMO, Monsanto-free seed companies.
Amishland Seeds
Annapolis Valley
Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds 
Burpee Seeds
Heritage Seed Company (Nova Scotia, Canada)
Diane’s Flower Seeds
Ed Hume Seeds
Garden City Seeds
Heirlooms Evermore Seeds
Heirloom Seeds
Heirloom Organics
Horizon Herbs
Irish Valley Seeds
Johnny’s Seeds
Landreth Seeds
Lake Valley Seeds
Livingston Seeds
Local Harvest
Mountain Rose Herbs
Organica Seed
Park Seeds
Sand Hill Preservation Center
Seeds of Change (Owned by Mars Inc.) But GMO Free.
Seed Savers Exchange
Southern Exposure
Sustainable Seed Co
Territorial Seeds
Tiny Seeds
Uprising Seeds
Virtual Farm Seed Co
Wildseed Farms

There you go folks! Enjoy!!

(P.S. If you are a seed company representative for a Non-GMO/non-Monsanto company, please feel free to comment below and we will add your company to the list!)


© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

12 thoughts on “Who Owns Who? Devotees of the Great Monsanto

  1. We would like to be included in your safe seed suppliers list. We are a Canadian Seed House, Certified Organic by PACS, grower number 16-504. We sell only open pollinated, non-GMO certified organic and mostly heirloom seed. Our website is http://www.sunshinefarm.net phone is 250-764-4810.

    Thanks for the great information!

  2. The information you posted about food companies that Monsanto supposedly”owns” is false and misleading. Monsanto does not own any of those food companies.

    • Thank you for your response, Carly, but I think you must have misread something. I made no statements that Monsanto owns the food companies that are listed in the attached pictures. Not sure where you got mixed up on that/

      As for ” ” when I say “owns”, I have worked with a number of major companies that contracted with Monsanto, While Monsanto did not own the company, they did “own” it is the various stipulations they placed on the companies I worked for.

  3. Some of the companies listed are not seed companies… They sell bulbs and perennials… Such as Wayside Gardens, Brecks, McClure & Zimmerman, etc. I did forward information to Brent & Becky’s, because they were on a DO NOT buy list I saw somewhere. They are a very reputable company and I didn’t want them on a bad list… I sent them info and the form to sign the Safe Seed Pledge. I do understand that we should support those companies that have signed the Safe Seed pledge and want to avoid GMO’s at all cost. Some people choose not to buy from companies that don’t carry any GMO products but are owned my a company that “might”. After YEARS of research, I can quickly recognize a variety. I have been to the Seminis website, and while I did recognize some of their hybrids, most of them I never heard of. I think several other companies will sign the safe seed pladge and get on the “good list” in the future.

    • Hi! Sorry to take so long to respond, but have been on hiatus with traveling out of state for Christmas and catching up on things since getting back.

      The reason why Wayside, Brecks, Roots and Rhizomes, etc. are listed is because they are parts of a big company that also sells seed. As a person that used to work for a place like that, I can tell you that it is not uncommon to have seed sitting in a tote one day and bulbs the next and seeds back in it again not too long after. I guess the idea is that if you are going to avoid part, then avoid the whole.

      Many of the items on the Seminis website are offered to commercial growers. While you may not have heard of it, you have likely eaten it if you have purchased that particular vegetable from the grocery store. Also, you may sometimes come across these varieties as an unnamed free seed that is included with an order.

  4. So are FedCo and Johnny’s selected seeds selling Monsanto packaged seeds or not? At the top, you state that they are. At the bottom, you state that they are Monsanto free (I seem to recall FedCo stating that they intended to get out from under Monsanto, but who knows).

    Which is it? Could you clarify?

    • Er, I think I missed something. Fedco and Johnny’s are safe and are listed at the bottom. It has been a while since I wrote the article, so I reread it twice and didn’t notice it at the top. I admit, I am currently quite tired, so it is possible I missed it.

      The ones listed above the safe companies are those that are ‘owned’ in the proverbial sense — while Monsanto/Seminis may not be the one paying the salaries and the bills to keep the lights on, they do ‘own’ the management of companies like Burpee’s, Jung’s, etc. by basically telling them, “this is how it is going to be if you want to sell our seed”. This includes anything and everything from where the item will be listed in the catalog, what other products from other companies you can or can’t have (because they don’t want you to sell something that may decrease the sales of their product), what the seed packet will say, etc. Consorting with them is like making bargains with the Devil!

  5. At the top paragraphs, you say Burpee’s, Park Seed, & Territorial sells some Seminis seed at the top yet they are included in the “monsanto-free” list at the bottom. Even if they are not owned by Monsanto, if they offer Seminis seed, shouldn’t they be in the “various percentages” list?

  6. Pingback: Who Owns Who? Where and How Monsanto Has Their Sticky Little Fingers In the Home Garden Seed Industry | Horticulture Talk!

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