- Is Monsanto in Your Garden?
By Brenda Wagner, online volunteer
Organic Consumers Association, June 15, 2010
Straight to the Source
When most people think of Monsanto, they picture huge Midwest farms growing Roundup Ready GMO corn and soy. But did you know that Monsanto and other agrochemical multinationals are in the home garden vegetable seed business as well?
The commercial seed industry has undergone vast consolidation in the last few decades, with several agro giants buying up many seed companies around the world. The majority of these companies target the commercial agriculture industry, but companies such as Monsanto and Swiss-based Syngenta produce a range of seeds for the home vegetable gardener as well.
Aside from the anti-trust issues raised from having a few large corporations control the world’s seed supply, there are other concerns as well. The recent consolidation frenzy has resulted in a drastic decrease in the variety of seeds. Insects and disease tend to attack monocultures, so the strength of any ecosystem is the level of its plant diversity. Monocultures, where the same type of crops grow on large plots of land year in and year out, also lead to an increase in pesticide usage. This is convenient for the giant seed companies, since they’re in the pesticide and herbicide business as well.