I received my first 2007 gardening catalog yesterday–Select Seeds of Connecticut. I wrote about them in March, so I don’t want to get too detailed about them again except to say that they sell antique and heirloom varieties and it’s a really beautiful catalog. While thumbing through it, this small notice on the inside front cover caught my eye:
The Safe Seed Pledge: We signed the pledge and do not offer genetically altered seeds. Find out more-search for “safe seed sourcebook” on the web.
Well, that got me all curious. So, upon googling “safe seed sourcebook,” I found a wonderful resource from the Council for Responsible Genetics. The Council created the Safe Seed Project in 1999 to connect sellers of non-genetically modified seed to gardeners and farmers who don’t wish to use them. The Council created The Safe Seed Pledge which reads as follows:
Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative,
We pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants.
The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms, poses great biological risks as well as economic, political, and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities.
They recruited socially-responsible seed sellers to sign the pledge. Signers become a part of the Safe Seed Sourcebook , which is published online and in print and is free to consumers. Signers are also encouraged to advertise that they’ve signed the pledge in their catalogs, websites, packages, etc. So far more than 100 seed sellers have signed the Safe Seed Pledge.
So, if you’re looking for non-GM seeds, check out the Safe Seed Sourcebook. It’s a great way to feel good about the seeds that you’re planting.
Image courtesy of Cerebro.