no GE (genetically engineered), no GMO (genetically modified) seeds
At GE Free BC, we want safe, healthy food that is not genetically engineered. Inserting foreign genes into a food is an imprecise process that damages the DNA, with unpredictable results. It affects the nutritional content, can cause allergies, and antibiotic genes can survive in the human digestive system. Containment of GE crops from other crops in the field is impossible. Pollen from GE plants can cross with non-GE cultivated & wild plants. You can get more info from the GE Free BC newsletter, and get involved, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 100 seed companies have signed the Safe Seed Pledge that they will not buy or sell genetically engineered seeds.
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.”
|Seed sellers in B.C. who have signed the Safe Seed Pledge:|
|Aurora Farm||Seeds of Victoria|
|Butchart Gardens||Stellar Seeds|
|Crafty Gardener||Sunshine Farm|
|Fraser’s Thimble Farms||Terra Viva Organics|
|Grass Root Seeds||West Coast Seeds|
|Salt Spring Seeds|
|Others – and some outside B.C.- who sell GE-free seeds:|
|Van Dusen Seed Collectors||Richter’s Herbs|
|Planting Seeds Project||Territorial Seeds|
|Thompson and Morgan||Twining Vine|
Interesting Seeds to Plant in 2007:
Triamble Winter Squash – extremely rare, blue-green skinned, orange-flesh winter squash; Lazy Housewife Pole Beans –fresh green beans for busy gardeners
Straight Eight Cucumber – introduced in the 30s, good for bread & butter pickles
Lutz Beets – Salad Leaf, tasty cooked leaves plus winter-keeper beets; Outrageous Kale Mix – eat your greens, fall, winter, & spring
Wow! 18 varieties of wheat, including Canadian Red Fife & wheat from Brazil, Afghanistan & Ethiopia; Rosa Bianca Eggplant – Italian heirloom, a mini purple and white striped eggplant for northern climes, can be grown in pots!
Purple Sprouting Broccoli – abundant small florets with sideshoots that keep on coming! ; Yugoslavian Red Lettuce – dark red with creme/green/red interior
Banana Legs Tomato – determinate yellow; Bulls Heart Tomato – semi- indeterminate meaty red tomato
Batwing Mix Mini Pumpkins – orange on top, irregular blackish-green batwing shape on the bottom, so cute
Costoluto Fiorentino Tomato – from Tuscany, an indeterminate squat tomato with dense, red flesh – bring on the basil & parmigiano!
Ethiopian Lentils – large lentils to dry, with wonderfully pretty foliage & blue flowers; Envy Edamame Soy Beans – eaten fresh, briefly steamed with salt & soy sauce for your own Japanese feast
Allium in 16 seed varieties – from B.C. wildflowers, to gorgeous blue globes and tall-stemmed white globes (decorative) to classic chives
Mesclun Salad Mix – the famous assortment of greens, garden to restaurant salads in mild, nicoise, Oriental, provencal, and tangy mixes
Save Your Own Seeds
- Most vegetable seeds last 3 to 5 years. If you have leftover seeds, be sure to give them a try next year. Extra long-lived seeds include sweet peas and wheat. Parsley is picky – it often isn’t viable for more than a year, and planted, it takes its own sweet time to germinate.
- Apple, pear, plum, rose, aconite, or chestnut seeds are sown fresh, not dried.
- Squeeze some of the seed-filled jelly from ripe tomatoes. Place it in a jar with a bit of water. Loosely cover, keep warm for 3 days or more, shaking it daily. Wonderful fungus will arrive to kill disease. Fill the jar with water, and strain out the pulp. Viable seeds will settle on the bottom. Keep rinsing til clear. Pour the seeds onto paper and let them dry completely, before storing in an envelope.
- Allow bean pods to dry until rattling on the plant before picking.
- Keep seed in a dry, dark, cool place. The back of your refrigerator is good. Add one of those “Do Not Eat” desiccants to the seed container.
- Cabbage family plants, e.g. kale, are lovely flowering the following spring. When their seed pods are tan, cut the whole stem off and hang it upside down under a roof. When you’re ready to smash the pods to free the seeds, put them inside a double bag, and hammer away, or dance on them.
Ban Terminator Seeds
Terminator seeds are genetically engineered to be sterile after harvest, so that farmers cannot save and replant them, and must buy new ones. Pollen from Terminator plants in the first generation could spread Terminator genes to other plants. Terminator seeds (“GURT”s) have never been field tested or commercialized, but Monsanto & other major seed and biotechnology corporations have patents on this technology. Genetic seed sterilization would secure the corporate monopoly on seeds for the top 10 seed companies in the world, which own half the global market.
In 2005 and 2006, the Canadian government tried to overturn the UN global moratorium on Terminator seeds; the UN voted to retain the moratorium, but Canada is still considering Terminator technology.
Your community can be a GE Free Crop Zone. Powell River, B.C. and the Southern Gulf Islands have been declared GE Free Zones. There are hundreds of GE Free Zones all over the world. You can ask Farmers’ Market vendors if their food and baked goods are GE-Free. In your supermarket, you can avoid processed food made with GE corn and soy. You can ask for mandatory labeling on food. You can tell your supermarket manager you won’t buy GE food.