Skip to primary navigation | Skip to content | Skip to utility navigation | Skip to footer
CheckoutCartCartItems: 0   Total: $0.00 
Australia's finest range of heirloom seeds since 1986


The Answer is in the Seed

25 Nov 2013
By Bob Phelps*

A small cartel of agrochemical and seed companies now owns much of the world's seed supply. They send seed and food where they are most profitable, not where they are most needed. So the work of independent heirloom and open-pollinated seed producers and seed savers is critical to food sovereignty and security for our children and grandchildren.

Monsanto is now the biggest agrochemical and seed company in the world. It owns 27% of all commercial grain, fruit and vegetable seed and over 90% of all the genetically manipulated (GM) varieties of soybean, corn, canola, cotton and sugarbeet. Other seed giants are Dupont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow.

Through cross-licensing agreements for GM herbicide tolerance, Bt insect toxin and virus resistance traits, these companies concentrate their collective ownership and control, and promote their patented, PVR and hybridized products. Farmers and gardeners are forced back to seed merchants every season to pay grossly inflated prices.

As oil and phosphates deplete over the next 50 years, arable land and water become scarcer, and the climate changes, broad-acre industrial food production will become non-viable. A transition to agro-ecological systems is essential and the sooner we start, the better. United Nations' models for necessary change include the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and the UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2013, "Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing climate"

Seed is the genesis of all life on Earth and the bedrock of our food supply, developed for us by farmers and seed savers over the past 10,000 years. Half the world's food is still produced by peasant farmers on small plots of land. The corporate hijacking of our publicly-owned and shared biological commons is not yet complete. Thanks to small seed producers and seed savers for nurturing a rich diversity of cultivated plant varieties for all to share.


Gene Ethics

* Bob Phelps is Director of Gene Ethics:
Web:        Tel: 1300 133 868        Email:

Share this article
Posted in: Gene Ethics, GMO, Eden
Tagged with: Bob Phelps
Back to top