Thursday, December 20, 2007

The GM Seed Giants Lumber into the Veggie Patch

In 2005, Monsanto bought Seminis, the world's largest vegetable-seed company. At the time, Monsanto -- which enjoys a dominant position in the global market for GM soy, corn, and cotton traits -- claimed it had no imminent plans to subject veggies to genetic modification.

Now I learn from the excellent new blog SeedStory, by Matthew Dillon of the Organic Seed Alliance, that Monsanto is working on RoundUp Ready lettuce. And the few other transnational giants that dominate the global GM seed industry are also upping their position in vegetables.

Bayer-Crop Science, Dillon reports, has snapped up Paragon, the world's biggest lettuce-seed firm. Dillon reports that he hears from industry reps that Bayer isn't planning on investing in transgenic vegetable crops. Funny -- that's just what Monsanto was saying a couple of years ago.

Incidentally, anyone interested in this topic should read Dillon's "A Brief History of the Seed Industry."

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