Johnny's not the only GE-using seed company
Rebecca Kneen (email@example.com)
Thu, 18 Feb 1999 09:03:28 -0700
Well, it looks like Johnny's is not the only seed company intending to
supply GE seeds to home and commercial gardeners. I just got my Stokes
catalogue (OK, I'm really late, but I'm moving again), and discovered that
they'll be carrying GE seeds next year. Here's the text from their
catalogue (note their use of pro-GE language like GMOs):
"In last year's Stokes Says we asked you to comment on Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMO's). Nearly all the comments received expressed a concern for
this new technology but many felt that, like many new technologies, it will
eventually become commonplace. As far as Stokes Seeds listing such
products, there was a unanimous feeling that Stokes can list them as long
as they are identified as GMO's so that you, the customer, can decide if
you wish to grow GMO's or stay with a more traditional variety.
"You will notice that this year there are no GMO's listed in our catalogue.
The only GMO available to the garden seed industry is sweet corn. The
Rogers Seed Company of Boise ID., is now selling a Bt sweet corn to growers
across the U.S. and Canada. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
registered the corn with several conditions. One of these conditions was
that the buyer had to be growing at least 40 acres of sweet corn. This
means that home gardeners in the U.S. won't be able to purchase this
product for sowing. At present there does not appear to be similar
restrictions to the registration in Canada. Seed is scarce and each Rogers
distributor has been allotted an amount suitable only for grower
introduction of the product.
"Here at Stokes, we promise to keep you up to date on the progress of GMO
products and label any GMO product we might list in the future as a
genetically modified variety. Our policy has always been to keep our
customers informed on the products they buy."
I personally feel that this is a cop-out, playing directly into the
industry's hand. Their attitude of "we don't really make any decisions,
it's just you" echoes Johnny's attitude. Both are self-serving and
insulting. As an organic grower, I demand a certain amount of integrity in
those with whom I deal, and I'm not finding it in either Johnny's or
Stokes. I will continue to deal with the small, local companies who don't
support genetic engineering.
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