Barbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

I recently found out something shocking. This revelation happened as I was meandering through the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) website and ran across the “about” page. It just so happens that Joel Reiten is one of the Board of Directors – “Currently seed production manager for Seeds of Change, a division of Mars, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of 100% organic seed.” 

Hold it right there, Nellie. Did I see that right? Seeds of Change, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of 100% organic seed is a division of Mars? WTF??? You know, Mars!!! That pillar of corporate hypocrisy that is also leading the fight alongside the USDA and IBM to spread GM cocoa around, starting in Africa. What’s IBM got to do with it? Hell, I don’t know. What did IBM have to do with the holocaust?

But I digress. One of the largest organic seed producers is a division of a company that wholeheartedly supports GMOs. Does anyone see a conflict of interest here? Does anyone else think there might be a problem?

Some people say that you can serve two masters – organic and GMO – coexistence. Not possible. One will always take precedence over the other, and the two concepts are polar opposites. How can you wholeheartedly support both? Impossible. Unless you are planning on combining the two. In which case you would be supporting GMOs with an organic label because it is the organic that is contaminated. It is the organic that will suffer every time – taken over by an aggressive, dominant, man-made organism with none of the natural genetic coding left.

So I ask: Seeds of Change – What kind? Is that the master plan? To coexist via hostile takeover until organic is nothing more than an empty promise? Maybe it makes the GM pushers feel good to dabble in organics. Or maybe they just want the seed stock. Or maybe they are hedging their bets and collecting from both sides of the fence. Getting rich while corrupting the food supply and creating a monopoly. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Whatever it is, any friend of Mars is no friend of mine. So, Seeds of Change, you can just change right on out of my life. And another one bites the dust…

© 2011 Barbara H. Peterson


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33 Responses to “Major Organic Seed Company Owned By Pro-GMO Group!”

  1. sally says:

    Organic Valley is not corporate owned. Still a farmer cooperative.
    Do you mean Horizon which was bought by Dean Foods”

    nedlud 12/1/11 8:14 am
    “Organic Valley, Seed Saver’s Exchange, Seeds of Change, National Farmer’s Organization, these are all defunct and spurious, evil organizations now. The list goes on and on.”

  2. Laurie says:

    please pardon me if this has already been mentioned but I don’t have time right now to read all the posts in full before I post. A friend of mine pointed out the buy outs to me and was explaining which brand of seeds to buy (sorry but i forget which he suggested) and mentioned that it was so all the major corporations can own all the genetic seed stock. They are all trying to patent all the seeds so no one can grow anything by seed unless they buy seeds, also if they contaminate all the seeds there won’t be any non-gmo available ever again. They are also hedging their bets by covering all the markets in case any market goes awry. It’s going to be a scary future with only greedy corporations in charge of all our food & seeds.

  3. Lorna says:

    You are welcomed Camilla,thank you for your wonderful Christmas carol gift, I have shared it with my daughter today. I live in a green mountain valley with walls of trees that go to the sky, the birds are singing as they fly high in the air after two wonderful days of rain that our garden loved. If we look at what we have, we can see what we can do with the things we do not need. We need to control our mind and not let the mind control us!
    in friendship and love,

  4. Camilla says:


    Thank you for distributing the true and natural seeds of life.
    Truly inspiring!!!

    You make my heart sing (a christmas carol for you! :D)

    And thanks to everyone for your fabulous input and valuable tips!


  5. windy says:


    I would like to know more about your problem with organic valley.


  6. Lorna says:

    Dear people of the world, I have just received this website from a friend that knows I have been a seed saver from the start of their conception and an “good old days” type gardener from the time before the word “organic” was coined. I have not been buying from Seed Savers for some years as I have my own seed bank which I freely share with others so I can not remark on Seed Savers standards of today.
    I ask now for all that read this to remember what our forefathers and mothers did to build the wonderful life that we all feel we need to protect and rebuild.
    Do not stop at seeds !!! go the full way with everything that is wrong. It is all about control, not money. Only the small fry want the money, the big guys already have that. The one thing to remember is we the little guys, when combined as one ARE THE BIG GUYS. The key is to UNDERSTAND that we do not need these people to live this good free life and hand it down to our children. We only need the qualities that our forbearers used. TRUTH, LOVE, FAITH,TRUST, KINDNESS and above all else, we can not COMPROMISE. The starting point for all of us is not to use any more money than we need and daily reduce this as much as we can as money is the scouse of the control we are feeling.
    At Christmas time, do not spend money buying gifts, give the feelings that make you buy the gifts directly to your love ones, give them your time directly, sing songs, tell stories, give hugs, kisses and smiles. Take your family as a whole and go next door and do the same. This is the true organic seed sowing.
    Make this your new Christmas day and live it everyday with your work family, school family, town family and computer family as I have done now. Do not let fear rule you as this is the seed that the non organic people use, lack of time is another and lack of supply is yet another. Go Buy, Without Money and Price……. Give freely, knowing the true value of all things is being able to give what you do not need now, knowing in faith that someone will be giving to you when you need it, this is the way it works, giving us all the peace that we all need.
    In trust, hugs and smiles,

  7. Jason says:

    A few characteristics that I have always used to tell who I should trust in a seed company, especially anyone on-line:

    1. What is their background? Are they farmers/gardeners or are they just opportunistic salespeople?
    2. How long have they been in business? Sort of the same point as #1 – are they trustworthy people or just taking advantage of the non-GMO movement?
    3. How does their website look? I have found that for some, if they have really flashy websites with ads and stuff, it is likely that they’re owned by a larger company and/or it’s not trustworthy seed, even if they sign the safe seed pledge.
    4. How is their packaging? Fancy painted seed envelopes and artistic canisters cost lots of money, and that gets passed along to you in getting less seed per dollar, or less quality seed.
    5. Are they promoting self-sufficiency and sustainability? If they are selling small packets of seed to keep you coming back, then stay away. There is no need to keep buying non-GMO seed over and over again!

    I use a company called The Ark Institute ( and they have been instrumental in the non-GMO fight since the 1990’s. I first started dealing with them in early 2002 and have used them for most of my needs ever since. In response to my statements above:
    #1. They were founded by a biologist who somewhat started the non-GMO movement when she uncovered some early GMO patents.
    #2. They have been in this business – and only this business – for more than 15 years. That works for me.
    #3. Their site is clean and simple – no flash or ads. Link to their store and navigate through books, seeds, etc. Could be better, but is not flashy which I like.
    #4. Their seed comes in simply labeled manilla seed envelopes, which helps explain why they’re such a value.
    #5. Their founder once emailed me and said “If I’m doing my job right, there will be a time when I won’t be needed anymore!”. All they do is help people become more self-sufficient, where they won’t need to buy the same seed over and over. The main reason I keep going back is for new varieties that they offer and new books or other products that I may need.

    They also recently started offering packages to properly dry, freeze and store your seed, so you can start your own little stockpile for the future. Great product!

    That’s my two cents. I’ve had some luck with Baker Creek for some less common varieties, but have been run off by the other guys out there for many reasons – bad seed, poor customer service, etc.
    I’ll stick with The Ark Institute from here on out!

    Happy Growing!

  8. Anthony says:

    And bow one tends to wonder about his books.

  9. Tessa says:

    Territorial Seed used to be owned by Steve Soloman (wrote some good gardening books for the NW). They are okay last time I looked-


  10. ATCM says:

    And the enlarged map… while this may need a very recent update, since it is from 2009

  11. Anthony says:

    Ah, I agree, one cannot serve 2 masters and GM Plants infect Heirloom plants. Just as a rule of thumb I always check a seed company’s corn and tomatoes. If they sell F1, 2, 3, etc, that is a code like we used with pheasants when I raised them. WC was wild caught (don’t apply here) but F1, F2, etc was the generation from original. Now if it is an heirloom there would not be an F factor in the genealogy. Heirlooms are all what I guess one could consider WC since heirlooms have been around before they started bastardizing our food supply.

    Now, do not, repeat, do not get caught in the “Organic” label maze. This is nothing short of a marketing ploy. GM seeds can be raised “organic”, you just can’t save them. We save our own seeds but when I do buy, it’s from places like Baker Creek Seed and such since they refuse to sell GM seeds.

  12. Karin Cooke says:

    What do you know about Territorial Seed Company?
    Thank you!

  13. I did a quick look at Baker Creek, and from outward appearances, they appear to be okay. If I find any connections to mega corporations, I will post. If anyone else finds anything, please let us know. It is important that we find good, honest, clean sources for seed. I will try and find a listing, or in one does not exist, will make up a listing of good, clean sources for seed. Any help is appreciated in this endeavor.

  14. Tessa says:


    I’ve read so much about all this- it’s disheartening and scary! I saw an earlier post asking about Baker Creek- anyone know for sure if they are okay? Anyone know of a site that lists true OR, non-GMO, non-hybrids seed companies?

  15. Mark says:

    Just a side note – the statement, “What did IBM have to do with the holocaust?” needs to be addressed. IBM created the first computer in 1935 for the Nazis and supplied the punch cards to the the masses under the guise of…guess what? A Census. Yep. The people filled out the punch cards with their names. address, religion, etc and turned it over to the government. Sound familiar? You all know what happened next. Read, “IBM and the Holocost” by Edwin Black. It documents all of it.

    In case you haven’t noticed we are living in a fascist regime with a police state. If we do not wake up from this madness, history will repeat iteslf and we’ll find ourselves in concentration camps. Don’t believe me? Check out this link

  16. EatPlayLove says:

    The circle of safe places to source our food from keeps getting smaller and smaller by the day. Thanks for the insight. I wrote a post in January, after the deregulation of alfalfa, about the fear I have that growing a garden in our own back yard will someday become illegal b/c all the multinational corporations that have been buying our government will push for laws that mandate such absurdities.

    I hope you don’t mind, I’d like to share a link to a local organic farmer here in Boulder, CO that is a fabulous source of organic and heirloom seeds.

  17. Deb Liguori says:

    I thought it was strange when seed savers had President Obama at their festival. I know he was against gmos’ when he was running for office. But now that he is in office he has Tom Vilsack running the USDA-a former Monsanto lawyer. Also has other guys in the FDA. We all need to talk to our friends and family members and educate them about the dangers of gmo’s. There is a gap between the oversight of the USDA and FDA and they use this to get around things.Our future ecosystems as well as our own health depends on all of us taking action against these big corporations.

  18. Abe says:

    Thanks for the heads up. Could you do a story on small organic seed companies that we could feel good about supporting?

  19. Barbara Talbert says:

    With all the non-GMO groups out there one would think they would be making more of an impact on Congress and the FDA and USDA. I do wonder if some groups are simply for venting ( I know yours is not) and tiding things over until everything is totally irreversible.

  20. nedlud says:

    You have to get certain stuff you may need from somebody. But the closer they are to you and the smaller they are, the better. The bigger they are and the farther away, the worse it is to do any sort of ‘businees’ with them. This should be obvious by now.

    My thanks to those who included some resources for minimal purchases of heirloom seeds and such.

    It is really too bad about Seed Saver’s because we (my wife, children and I) were hige fans and supporters of them at one time….unbelieveable supporters.

    And we joined NFO and Organic Valley too, we thought we were doing right. Now I hate them all.

    Talk about the good old days. What made them good was it was easier to do good then. Things were more local, still local, so people knew people and helped where help was needed. That is what we have to get back to.

    This modern life is bullshit and killing us all.

  21. Thanks, Doug. That makes up for the OTHER stuff I routinely get called :)

  22. Ronda says:

    Great find Barbara
    I have never purchased from them, still good to let others know so they don’t.
    What is Wrong with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds I have bought from them for years and we don’t get sick ever…ever
    Baker’s are a young couple that is huge against mantysantoo

  23. Doug Girard says:

    Oh man, I can’t stand it when people speak of the “good old days,” ’cause I am not sure if there ever were such a thing. But, having started eating ‘differently’ in the 70’s, and having been in the health food industry at the retail level in the 80’s……….I long for the good old days. This same corporate consumption of products has also made popular music a bastardized, sonically-modified version of musical output. Like wholesome food, one must now search out good music. While this makes the finding of such more of a treasure, it also makes it harder to come by. Same with food. Oh well, onward and upward!

    Keep up the good work Barbara Peterson, you are a treasure, and one whose fruits just show up on my doorstep!

  24. Seed Savers underwent a hostile corporate takeover by unscrupulous people that are now working hand in glove with the bevy of ne’er do wells at the Svalbard Seedbank.

  25. Hans says:

    I’m not sure why people are down on Seed Savers Exchange. They’re still nonprofit, and do a lot of good work encouraging “participatory preservation” by individual members.

  26. Julian Rose says:

    Typing error: in last para of my above thread it should read “seed banks” not seed bans.


  27. nedlud says:

    Hi everybody~

    Co-optation by the wealthy is the way of business these days.

    Organic Valley, Seed Saver’s Exchange, Seeds of Change, National Farmer’s Organization, these are all defunct and spurious, evil organizations now. The list goes on and on.

    If you support them in any way, you are in error and you are contributing to your own spiritual and physical death.


  28. windy says:

    Seeds of Change sold out years ago, and their prices are too high. I live in the town where High Mowing seeds is located, have never had a good experience with them nor has anyone I know.

    This is the best seed company I have found, they drop varieties which are only available from corporate agribusiness,

    Best to save your own, I plant some of my best overwintered root crops in the spring and save seed from beets, turnips, onions etc.

    Maybe you could start a seed exchange on this site.

  29. Julian Rose says:


    67% of the world’s seed companies are owned by just 10 corporations. Cargill and Monsanto top the list; then there are Syngenta, Dupont, Pioneer, Daniel Archer Midland and Bayer who combine to cover much of the European market.

    Its a corporate take-over of the food/seed chain and represents a major threat to human and environmental health.

    Bear in mind that the objective is to modify and patent the aquired seeds so that farmers/gardeners have to pay royalties for their ‘one time use’of seeds that will cross contaminate large areas of land.

    We must counteract this corporate monopolisation of the food chain by saving our native seeds NOW. We need to start ‘seed arks’ in every state and region, so that they can be used to grow real food at the local level when all else has gone down the corporate and govenment GM/hybridisation pan.

    Living seed bans are best: seed swapping and storing within communities – but keeping the seed chain alive by planting and harvesting as many non corrupted indigenous varieties as possible.

    Go to it my friends!


  30. Theresa says:

    Amicus & TSGordon
    Why are you mentioning “Seedsavers”…. I am not aware of this, please tell me more.

  31. Lacedra says:

    They don’t eat the crap themselves. That is why they need Organic, they know its better for us too.

    Maybe it makes the GM pushers feel good to dabble in organics. Or maybe they just want the seed stock. Or maybe they are hedging their bets and collecting from both sides of the fence. Getting rich while corrupting the food supply and creating a monopoly

  32. TSGordon says:

    Seedsavers, gone too? I have to admit that I previously thought they were decent folks, and despite the fact many of their products didn’t grow, felt an allegiance to order more. Someone should get on Rense and explain for the few how we might prepare to successfully save seeds for the many…

  33. amicus curiae says:

    good find Barbara! sounds just like the takeover of Seedsavers.

    Cargills bought masses of Cocoa plantations, then they bought Belgium oils processors and the chocolate producers, game set and match! the added oils( to make it cheaper and less melting etc etc) will most likely be GMO and as its “highly processed” there are no labelling requirements as the highly dubious claims of the dna being unrecognisable passed govt, in spite of Proof otherwise.Then they extract the cocoa butters and mass to be used for”health ” promotions using data funded by their own corporations to sell supposedly healthy chocolate products.

    I am digressing but it ties back into a roundabout way.
    I refuse to ever feed my pets pedigree/ PAL brands now owned also by Mars, as there is no way to find who is supplying the grains and oils in it.ok all commercial is dodgy, but some is worse than others:-)
    we have a company in Aus called DIGGERS , they can and do ship OS on some seeds, as laws allow, maybe a handy option for some of you Usa gardeners.
    Heritage and heirlooms.
    ?? seeds of change??
    ah is that like owhatsits change you shouldnt believe in??