Many home gardeners, and all organic gardeners, are concerned about the topic of GMO versus non-GMO seeds. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. Specifically, home gardeners wonder if vegetables from genetically modified seeds are safe. After all, most home gardeners partake in the hobby to provide healthy food for themselves, their family, and friends.
So, let’s take the mystery out of GMOs, which are sometimes called Genetically Engineered Organisms (GEO).
This article will help to put your mind at ease about the seeds you purchase, and the safety of your garden vegetables.
Ultimately, we leave this decision up to you, the home gardener, to determine the safety of your seeds. After all, you are the one who will consume the produce from the seeds you acquire.
We will not take a position on this debate. Rather, we will let you form your own opinion.
Here are a few pros and cons to consider:
GMOs can produce greater yields and help to feed a hungry world.
They can reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides and fungicides. That means healthier food and fewer chemicals released to the environment.
Some people fear GMOs can create new allergens in the foods we eat.
Some people argue that there is the potential for many unknown, long-term, negative health effects.
Genetically Modified Organisms are any organisms that have been modified or altered by the use of genetic engineering techniques. This involves taking DNA molecules from different sources and recombining them into a molecule to make a new set of genes.
A Genetically Engineered Organism is just another name for GMO.
Genetically Modified Seeds are seeds that have undergone genetic engineering techniques to produce certain plant traits, drought, or disease tolerance.
Non-GMO Seeds are any seed that has not undergone genetic modification in a laboratory.
Crossbreeding seed varieties are not GMO. It is nature’s way of producing new varieties. Crossbreeding has occurred naturally since the garden of Eden, as the pollen of one variety of a plant species, pollinated the flower of another variety. Squash are good examples of this, resulting in many, many natural varieties of squash.
Hybrid seeds are not GMO seeds. In this case, the process of creating hybrid seeds uses controlled crossbreeding of certain varieties.
Most home garden seed companies do not sell GMO seed.
Most GMO seeds are used in commercial farming.
Organic seeds and Heirloom varieties, by their very definition, are non-GMO seeds.
We will add to this list as we find information. Here are seed companies that DO NOT sell genetically modified seeds:
Burpee Seed C0mpany
Ferry-Morse Seed Company
Lilly Miller Seeds