(Reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle made me look into this quite a while back. I am huge Kingsolver fan, but I think she unfairly exaggerated the connection between Mansanto and many small seed companies in her book. For anyone interested in learning more about this there is some reading to be done, I will post links at the bottom of the page.)
So here is where my conscience comes into play.......I have been ordering from various seed sources over the years, and I tend to spread my seed buying dollars around. Baker Creek, Fedco, and Johnny's are my top three favorites and I frequent them the most when adding to my 'personal stash'. Johnny's is the only one with big "M" tie, the others refuse to play that game......but Johnny's also offers many F1 varieties the other catalogs don't, and for a small gardener like me, that is advantageous. So this coming year I am short on space, more than usual. And I know I can only grow one eggplant. So I want a dwarf, high yielding variety- and guess who owns all the patents on that category? Yup. Seminis/Mansanto. And now I know.
So you might say 'well duh, just order something else'. And I probably will do this, or just use OP seed I already have and expect lower yields from my single plant. But then I got to thinking about all of those veggies I buy at farm stands and farmer's markets. I know I have bought these little AAS winning hybrid eggplants in the past. What else am I buying from Mansanto, knowingly or not?
Anything non-organic that comes in a box or bag has an almost certain chance of coming from Mansanto corn, soy, or canola. The *&%! is in everything. Which brings me back around to voting everyday with my dollar. I choose pay more for organic food because I care where it comes from, care what was put out in the environment in order to grow it, and I don't want to feed GMO crap to my kids, period. But lets be honest, I have no-name brand canola oil in the cabinet and occasionally a bag of Doritos makes it into the shopping cart. So do I avoid the seed variety I want because the $2.00 I spend on it has some percentage being kicked back to the big monster for royalties on the patent on principle, or do I support a local seed company I believe in, and grow the dang veggies I want? And now that I have been connecting all the dots, do I ask growers where the seed comes from before buying their produce at the market? One could certainly get carried away with all of this. What do you think? Where do you stand with all of this, does it even concern you?
Further reading/Food for Thought: