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Monsanto owned seeds - or are they? (heirloom varietals with trademarked names)  RSS feed

 
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I searched permies to see if information regarding trademarked heirloom varietal names owned by Monsanto and didn't find anything. My wife found this article, which I want to share with the good people of permies. It's a list of non-GMO heirloom varieties who's trademark is owned by Monsanto, so when someone purchases one of these heirloom seeds, dollars often unknowingly go into Monsanto's pocket. For those of us who haven't gotten into seed saving, or can't save 100% of what they grow and purchase some varieties each year, here's a list of for quick reference of varieties to avoid:

Beans: Aliconte, Brio, Bronco, Cadillac, Ebro, Etna, Eureka, Festina, Gina, Goldmine, Goldenchild, Labrador, Lynx, Magnum, Matador, Spartacus, Storm, Strike, Stringless Blue Lake 7, Tapia, Tema

Broccoli: Coronado Crown, Major, Packman

Cabbage: Atlantis, Golden Acre, Headstart, Platinum Dynasty, Red Dynasty

Carrot: Bilbo, Envy, Forto, Juliana, Karina, Koroda PS, Royal Chantenay, Sweetness III

Cauliflower: Cheddar, Minuteman

Cucumber: Babylon, Cool Breeze Imp., Dasher II, Emporator, Eureka, Fanfare HG, Marketmore 76, Mathilde, Moctezuma, Orient Express II, Peal, Poinsett 76, Salad Bush, Sweet Slice, Sweet Success PS, Talladega

Eggplant: Black Beauty, Fairytale, Gretel, Hansel, Lavender Touch, Twinkle, White Lightening

Hot Pepper: Anaheim TMR 23, Ancho Saint Martin, Big Bomb, Big Chile brand of Sahuaro, Caribbean Red, Cayenne Large Red Thick, Chichen Itza, Chichimeca, Corcel, Garden Salsa SG, Habanero, Holy Mole brand of Salvatierro, Hungarian Yellow Wax

Hot, Ixtapa X3R, Lapid, Mariachi brand of Rio de Oro, Mesilla, Milta, Mucho Nacho brand of Grande, Nainari, Serrano del Sol brand of Tuxtlas, Super Chile, Tam Vera Cruz

Lettuce: Braveheart, Conquistador

Melon: Early Dew, Sante Fe, Saturno

Onion: Candy, Cannonball, Century, Red Zeppelin, Savannah Sweet, Sierra Blanca, Sterling, Vision

Pumpkin: Applachian, Harvest Moon, Jamboree HG, Orange Smoothie, Phantom, Prize Winner, Rumbo, Snackface, Spirit, Spooktacular, Trickster

Spinach: Hellcat

Squash: Ambassador, Canesi, Clarita, Commander, Dixie, Early Butternut, Gold Rush, Grey Zucchini, Greyzini, Lolita, Papaya Pear, Peter Pan, Portofino, President, Richgreen Hybrid Zucchini, Storr’s Green, Sungreen, Sunny Delight, Taybelle PM

Sweet Corn: Devotion, Fantasia, Merit, Obession, Passion, Temptation

Sweet Pepper: Baron, Bell Boy, Big Bertha PS, Biscayne, Blushing Beauty, Bounty, California Wonder 300, Camelot, Capistrano, Cherry Pick, Chocolate Beauty, Corno Verde, Cubanelle W, Dumpling brand of Pritavit, Early Sunsation, Flexum, Fooled You
brand of Dulce, Giant Marconi, Gypsy, Jumper, Key West, King Arthur, North Star, Orange Blaze, Pimiento Elite, Red Knight, Satsuma, Socrates, Super Heavyweight, Sweet Spot

Tomato: Amsterdam, Beefmaster, Betterboy, Big Beef, Burpee’s Big Boy, Caramba, Celebrity, Cupid, Early Girl, Granny Smith, Health Kick, Husky Cherry Red, Jetsetter brand of Jack, Lemon Boy, Margharita, Margo, Marmande VF PS, Marmara, Patio,
Phoenix, Poseidon 43, Roma VF, Royesta, Sun Sugar, Super Marzano, Sweet Baby Girl, Tiffany, Tye-Dye, Viva Italia, Yaqui

Watermelon: Apollo, Charleston Grey, Crimson Glory, Crimson Sweet, Eureka, Jade Star, Mickylee, Olympia


The above list is slightly dated by a few years, and it is possible Monsanto has acquired some trademarked varieties not mentioned above. One great way to know one is buying seeds not owned by anybody is to purchase OSSI seeds.

Here's a link to the full article: https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-four-steps-required-to-keep-monsanto-out-of-your-garden/

Here's is a graphic of seed companies from 2014 not owned by or affiliated with Monsanto:









seeds-of-change1.jpg
[Thumbnail for seeds-of-change1.jpg]
 
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James, thank you for sharing.

I guess when transplants are purchased then Monsanto still gets a cut from the seeds purchased by the grower.
 
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I don't trust this information.

For example, Charleston Grey watermelon has been a variety since before I was born. I'm really good at internet searching, but can't find any instance anywhere of "Charleston Grey TM". If a trademark ever existed for Charleston Grey, it has long since been lost due to everyone and their dog growing it and selling it.

Some of the companies on the list of "safe" seed companies sell Charleston Grey watermelon: For example, Baker Creek, and Botanical Interests.

Just cause a big company sells an old variety, doesn't mean that they  own it, or have a trademark on it.

I'm not going to do the research on every variety on that list. But in my way of looking at the world, if the authors of that article got it wrong on one variety, it's likely that the whole list is flawed and inaccurate.
 
James Freyr
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:For example, Charleston Grey watermelon has been a variety since before I was born. I'm really good at internet searching, but can't find any instance anywhere of "Charleston Grey TM". If a trademark ever existed for Charleston Grey, it has long since been lost due to everyone and their dog growing it and selling it.

But in my way of looking at the world, if the authors of that article got it wrong on one variety, it's likely that the whole list is flawed and inaccurate.


Oh gosh this is entirely possible. I did not research the published information myself, but I do know Monsanto puts forth great effort and spends millions to control the seed market. A lot of folks (not necessarily here at permies) associate Monsanto with GMO atrocities only, however they have quietly been buying small seed companies, hybrid ownership, and own/control 40% of the seed marketplace.

Years ago, I used to grow the hybrid Athena cantaloupe until I learned one day it was developed by and is owned by Syngenta. I had to go thru and audit my seeds to make sure I don't support any of the multinational corporations such as Syngenta and Monsanto.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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How can anyone even know? I have no way of vetting who grows seeds, or where they were sourced from. I can't trust lists on the Internet from random strangers.

My strategy is to source my seeds only from backyard gardeners, or from seed companies (I mean families) that grow all of their own seeds, and don't resell anything.
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I don't trust this information.

I'm not going to do the research on every variety on that list. But in my way of looking at the world, if the authors of that article got it wrong on one variety, it's likely that the whole list is flawed and inaccurate.


I thought the same when I saw Habanero on the list.
 
James Freyr
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I completely agree that the author has some clarifying to do.

I also want my fellow permies to know that I do take much of the internet with a grain of salt, and would never intentionally share bullshit I perceive as fact. I perceived an element of truth in the article as corporations such as the above mentioned do indeed have tactics to deceive consumers and masquerade as do-gooders.
 
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Looking at your link and following back the origin is this Rodale Institute article that details Monsanto's acquisition of Seminis in 2005. It is a interesting read as is this linked article, "The switch from public to private seed companies".

Posted February 22, 2005: The news of Monsanto’s agreement to purchase Seminis has received little attention from the media other than the financial pages and a few seed industry and anti-globalization web sites. But then again, why should it? How many consumers – of food or seed – have even heard of Seminis? And yet, as Seminis spinmeister Gary Koppenjan said, “If you've had a salad, you've had a Seminis product."

It is estimated that Seminis controls 40 percent of the U.S. vegetable seed market and 20 percent of the world market—supplying the genetics for 55 percent of the lettuce on U.S. supermarket shelves, 75 percent of the tomatoes, and 85 percent of the peppers, with strong holdings in beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, broccoli, cabbage, spinach and peas. 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. Johnny’s, Territorial, Fedco, 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.
 
James Freyr
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Hey James thanks for sharing those links!
 
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Hi James,

It may help in your research to know that Monsanto is now Owned by the German Company Baye AG.      Yep, same company that made Zyklon B.  Ellie Wiesel was part of the Jewish slave labor working in one of their factories in WWII. 
 
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I have no doubt that Monsanto owns as many seed varieties as they have been able to acquire, but I think the word "heirloom" is not an accurate description. My understanding of heirloom varieties is that they have been in use long enough and generally developed by unknown or diffuse groups that they are not currently ownable by one entity.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Yup. It's two entirely different things "owning a trademark" on a variety, and "growing" a variety that has been widely grown for generations.
 
Anne Miller
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http://planet.infowars.com/uncategorized/seed-companies-owned-by-monsanto
 
James Freyr
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I had started this thread with all the good intention of providing helpful information to assist folks who purchase seeds and are mindful of where their hard earned dollars go, to avoid inadvertently supporting multinational corporations such as Monsanto. I feel like I failed to critique the article well enough, as it is very clear that the article has credibility issues. My thanks to those who did critique it and pointed out discrepancies.

Even though this thread started out stumbling, I’m pleased with all the replies and input from the many other good people here and I think this thread has evolved nicely into my original goal of providing information for us to avoid sending money to the wrong people. Many thanks to everyone chiming in!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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I think that in day-to-day life, people send a tremendous amount of money to the hegemonic seed companies by buying seeds of corn, soybean, cotton, and canola in the form of vegetable oils. Those are the seeds that those companies produce in overwhelming abundance, and those are the seeds that end up filling the diets of unaware shoppers. In my personal life, I avoid supporting the hegemonic seed companies by not buying the cooking oils that are derived from their seeds. That requires that I read labels, or more simply that I don't eat processed foods, or deep fried foods.




 
James Freyr
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Joseph I know what you mean. My wife and I try real hard to pay attention to what we buy. We're also done with the cooking oils you mentioned. Without trying to make this thread stray off topic, I find cotton clothing difficult. It's a great fiber, and I wear t-shirts, bluejeans & overalls. I really try to avoid the petroleum alternatives (rayon, polyester, etc.).
 
James Freyr
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I've been doing some digging this morning regarding some of the names of varieties listed in the original post I cut & pasted from the article in the link. I haven't spent hours on this, nor likely will I as I have other things I have to do, but what I've found so far is a lot of the varietal names in the list are hybrids, not heirlooms. For example, Big Bertha & Giant Marconi sweet peppers are hybrids. Beefmaster, Better Boy & Roma VF tomatoes are hybrids. People (corporations) spend a lot of time (it takes years) and money developing hybrids and patent them, with the exception of the saints participating in OSSI.

Like Joseph mentioned above, the Charleston Grey is an heirloom, and I don't think the name is trademarked nor do I believe any corporation owns it or gets a royalty for each sale of the seeds, whereas patent owners do receive royalties for their hybrids.

I again apologize for sharing the original post as it is not credible, do not trust it in its entirety, it's full of holes.

Below is a link I found showing pepper plant patent activity, and you'll see some familiar names in the Assignee field. The information unfortunately does not indicate any trade names of the varieties being patented, but it shows just how active patent filing is, and this list is for peppers alone.

https://patents.justia.com/patents-by-us-classification/800/317.1

My conclusion: buy/grow/trade heirlooms. Consider growing and developing landrace varieties for your specific climate. Buy OSSI seeds.

I'd also like to note this has been a great learning experience for me, and I hope this thread is useful for those seeking seed without supporting multinational corporations.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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James Freyr: Great followup.

One of these days, I'm intending to push the boundaries with OSSI, and pledge a hybrid variety... If both parents are OSSI pledged, and I make a hybrid, then the offspring are also OSSI pledged... It's super easy to make hybrids with corn and squash, that might be a good place to start.
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

One of these days, I'm intending to push the boundaries with OSSI, and pledge a hybrid variety... If both parents are OSSI pledged, and I make a hybrid, then the offspring are also OSSI pledged... It's super easy to make hybrids with corn and squash, that might be a good place to start.


That would be an interesting idea.  Most often germplasm seed releases ('accessions') by public (university, etc.) plant breeders are relatively crude populations that have been selected for one or more traits, the intention being to give the recipient some good traits -AND- diversity on which to select for their own environment and uses.  By taking two different "interesting" OSSI populations as parent lines and creating a hybrid, the diversity *may* (as a theoretical optimum) be effectively doubled and once again the recipient can evaluate the hybrid itself for desirable characteristics or let the hybrid spit off progeny that can be reselected....and even re-hybridized....by the recipient grower.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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And by releasing the hybrid, AND it's parent varieties, anyone could recreate the hybrid in their own garden.
 
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I am becoming more and more convinced that we are facing a very subtle form of propaganda , with the aim of spreading confusion throughout the net.  The Dilbert writer calls it confusopoly I think he could be right. It goes back to the tobacco propaganda of the 1960s  the tobacco companies knew their product caused cancer so instead of admitting it they spread doubt and confusion as a deliberate policy .
Instead of the net empowering mankind it might just be slowing things down .

David
 
James Freyr
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David, I think you're right and I believe subtle forms of propaganda are rampant and widespread, especially on the internet. I'm not going to call out the author of the article and claim that person is a shill, I don't have proof, and I have more important things to be doing with my time. Who knows how that article came to be, I guess it is possible that someone published hearsay as fact without questioning the authenticity or reliability of the source, instead of deliberately publishing misinformation.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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One seed misinformation statement that I hear all the time is:

You can't save seeds from hybrids


Of course you can. And the offspring don't end up being Franken-fruits. They are usually a blend of traits mid-way between the traits of the parents. The parents were great, so the offspring will tend towards greatness.

At least on my own farm, I don't want to put myself in a position where elite germplasm, and the results of the past 60 years of plant breeding can't be incorporated into my landraces because the family was captured by The Corporation.
 
David Livingston
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just like people then :-)
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:One seed misinformation statement that I hear all the time is:

You can't save seeds from hybrids


Of course you can. And the offspring don't end up being Franken-fruits. They are usually a blend of traits mid-way between the traits of the parents. 


Pushing the envelope a bit even with traditional methods, I was always fascinated with the implications of the oat X maize crosses that demonstrated the extent to which chromosome pieces can be exchanged between plants of two different genera:  https://permies.com/t/8139/Ultra-wide-hybrid-cross-Oat

During wackier days influenced by too much sun and summer heat, I sometimes imagine bits of pigweed or lambsquarter chromosome getting into my beet seed as a consequence of a bizarre cross-pollination event.  It *seems* clear at this point from the genetic data being examined that this is vanishingly improbable, yet we often forget how much time and opportunity nature has to accomplish that rare feat.  And if the piece that gets inherited provides selective advantage, then it can mean a pretty big boost in the next generation to the survival of that event.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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One breeding technique that I'd love to devote time to is creating new species through grafting. Every once in a while, when things are grafted together the DNA of two cells gets mixed together. If that particular cell happens to become the genesis of a new shoot on the plant, then a new species can arise. Might take thousands of grafts, but it sure could be clever if successful.

 
David Livingston
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Life_and_Extraordinary_Adventures_of_Private_Ivan_Chonkin You might like this book then featuring potato tomato hybrids using the grafting technique :-)

David
 
James Freyr
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I was just looking over this thread, and in light of the revelations about the soundness of the article I shared in the original post and my lack of initial evaluation for credibility, I don't think I deserve the two apples it was awarded. Can a staff member please remove them or deduct them from my user profile? Thanks!
 
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James Freyr wrote:I was just looking over this thread, and in light of the revelations about the soundness of the article I shared in the original post and my lack of initial evaluation for credibility, I don't think I deserve the two apples it was awarded. Can a staff member please remove them or deduct them from my user profile? Thanks!


Oh, you began a great discussion though...for that you deserve the apples  
This thread has good information and we are fortunate you began it even if the information in the first post was slightly skewed.
 
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you planted the seed you get the reward , its what Permies is all about
 
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James Freyr wrote:I was just looking over this thread, and in light of the revelations about the soundness of the article I shared in the original post and my lack of initial evaluation for credibility, I don't think I deserve the two apples it was awarded. Can a staff member please remove them or deduct them from my user profile? Thanks!


Only the person who awarded the apples can take them away.  If you really, really want I could give that post two apple cores, which would take your total apple score down and maybe highlight the controversial nature of the information in the opening post?  But I wouldn't sweat about it - it was done with the best of intentions, triggered a good discussion, and I suspect helped a lot of us understand how misinformation can spread and how we need to keep alert to such things and be prepared to discuss them.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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James, this thread earned you 3 apples. As far as I am concerned, they are well deserved. Wonderful topic to discuss. I learned a lot from the thread, some of it in face to face discussions with real world friends. That's valuable to me. It's rare that I talk about a permies post with my friends. (Due more to me being an introvert than anything else...)

I renewed my commitment to live a life without the cooking oils manufactured from The Corporation's seeds and associated poisons.
 
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Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
I renewed my commitment to live a life without the cooking oils manufactured from The Corporation's seeds and associated poisons.


Joseph, I may have missed the entry or thread where you perhaps expanded on this.  Do you have a personal or community source for cooking oil or just reduce/eliminate it where once used before?  My own main uses, certain purchased through mass production, are from locally-derived sunflower/safflower when and where possible.  But I can't kid myself with the belief that *all* of it is locally sourced due to the nature of the production.....it's likely globally sourced in many cases.
 
James Freyr
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Thanks to the staff members who make me feel like those apples are earned after all

Burra- I like your lateral view of how this thread evolved from started out discussing being wary of who owns what, and it still is some of that, but how this thread is also now a good example of being mindful of misinformation on the net and how we can be alert to it.

I think what happened to me is when I first saw the article, I thought "well this certainly seems likely! why would they not try to own trademarks for heirlooms" without really researching it. I'm guilty of falling for it. If anyone here has read a few of my posts in other threads where Monsanto is mentioned, folks are aware of my resentment for corporations such as, but not limited to, Monsanto. I'm human, and part of me wants to find more reasons to not like such companies, but if it's misinformation, half-truths or downright lies, it's not fair or right. They don't need people publishing misinformation to persuade others to dislike them. I think it does more harm than good. I'm in no way defending these types of companies, as they provide enough reason to dislike them from their own day to day operations.

 
Joseph Lofthouse
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John: In my own life, I replaced The Corporation's oils (canola, corn, soybean, cottonseed) with olive oil, coconut oil, lard, or butter. That was initially for health reasons: The Corporation's oils are very high in omega 6 oils. I was getting a hyper-overabundance of Omega 6 oils compared to Omega 3 oils. They compete with each other for the same metabolic pathways in the body, and the balance was way off in my diet. It was easier for me to significantly reduce Omega 6 oils than it was to increase Omega 3 oils enough to compensate for the imbalance.   I source the lard and butter locally. The pigs that produce the lard don't eat corn or soy. The cows that make the butter are probably tainted. The olive and coconut oils are from organic suppliers.

Then, I met Vandana Shiva, and she told me a couple stories about Ghandi. How The Corporations had taken over India. And the people were slaves to the cloth factories. So they people started making their own cloth via manual labor. It was illegal to collect salt from the sea. By royal decree, all salt had to be purchased from The Corporations. So the people made their own salt, even though it was illegal to do so. The stories inspired me! In my own life, I can make a principled stand for what I think is right. I think that it is wrong to poison the environment with toxic gick. Therefore, I don't want to eat foods that were produced using toxins. The big 4 foods that use toxic gick in their production are canola, corn, soybean, and cottonseed. Therefore, I choose to avoid oils from those crops in my life. 

Life is messy. I'm not a purist or a fundamentalist about this. For example, I eat those oils at family and community parties. Then make sure to eat fish, flax, or chia the next day.
 
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Yup the Salt tax not one of the British Raj's finest moments I have to admit. I agree about the oils though we have mainly olive oil , butter and walnut oil . I am still looking for a new oil for cooking with though and finding good suet here in France is difficult as it's not part of the local traditions .
David
 
Not so fast naughty spawn! I want you to know about
The Earth Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book by Mike Oehler - digital download
https://permies.com/wiki/23444/digital-market/digital-market/Earth-Sheltered-Solar-Greenhouse-Book
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