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Fedco Does Not Knowingly Carry Genetically Engineered Seeds

genetic engineering slot machine imageAt our 1996 Annual Meeting we voted unanimously not to knowingly offer for sale any transgenic variety because the new gene technologies pose unacceptable risks to the environment. In 1999 we affirmed and clarified that position and will follow the guidelines of the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) which prohibit the use of genetically engineered organisms in organic crop production. OMRI uses the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) definition of genetic engineering. Along with more than 150 other seed companies, we have signed The Safe Seed Pledge.

Please note the word “knowingly.” Because of the possibility of contamination, over which we have no control, our pledge necessarily stops short of being an absolute guarantee. Although we will not sell any variety represented to us as transgenic, we will not be held legally responsible if any of our seed tests positive for genetically modified organisms. We have been advised not to sign any blanket statements such as “GMO free” that require us to state with certainty that our products are pure. Please do not submit such statements with your order. We apologize for having to split legal hairs, but we all share the reality of genetic drift.

We Test Sweet Corn Seed and Beet Seed for GMOs

To help ensure the purity of our seed, we have for the past ten years employed industry leader Genetic ID to test random samples of our sweet corn lots for the presence of transgenic contamintion. Because of the risks posed by production of genetically engineered Roundup Ready beets, we added beet and chard varieties to our GE testing program.

We have removed from our inventory and our catalog any lots that have tested positive for transgenic contamination.

A negative test result, while not guaranteeing genetic purity, improves your chances that the seed is uncontaminated. These tests are expensive, but in a time of genetic roulette, they are necessary though not sufficient to assure seed purity. Only if the seed trade takes an adamant position that we will not tolerate GE contamination in our product can we maintain any integrity in our seed supply.

Links to: Terminator Technology, Biotechnology (We Are As Gods, Debunking Biotech Myths), Monsanto Buys Seminis, Speeches & Essays by CR Lawn