Guardians in the Garden

The most sustainable way to get your vegetable garden growing is by starting your plants from seed.  The only problem is, in this day and age of genetically modified organism (GMO) organisms who knows what happened to your seed before it went in the little package.  How do you know for sure if your broccoli has, maybe, a fish gene in it?  There these intrusions into nature will be.

Back in 1983 a group of scientists, lawyers, public health advocates and citizens who were deeply concerned about the social, ethical and environmental impact of new genetic technologies formed the Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG). In 1999 they started a program to connect seed sellers who do not “knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants,” to gardeners and farmers alike, concerned about the effects of GMO seeds and plants.  Ten years later they can boast of over 100 sellers who take seriously the need to preserve our food and seed from genetic modifications.

The Safe Seed Pledge is an annual promise by growers that the seed they sell is not genetically modified in any way and it reads:

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."

If you would like to support the Safe Seed Initiative, you can make tax-deductible donations to the Council for Responsible Genetics (CRG).

To find non GMO seeds, check out the Safe Seed Source list for 2009

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