MOUNTAIN VALLEY SEED CO.’S POSITION ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMO)
We do not, and will not, offer what is typically referred to as GMO Seed.
Why do we use the word “typically”? We use the word typically because we feel too many people are entering the discussion of GMO without really understanding what it means.
Just like humans, plant genetics are changing frequently. Nearly every gardener has had the experience of having a plant or two in the garden “cross” with each other developing something a bit different than what was expected. This NATURAL crossing is how we ended up with the plant diversity we have today. As our understanding of plants increased, people quickly figured out that they could help this crossing occur by intentionally cross pollinating different plants or strains. This process is typically referred to as hybridization. Under the most strict definition we believe some could label a hybrid as a genetically modified organism. We believe that because this crossing is only occurring when NATURE allows it and occurring between plants and not between species, such as fish and plants, that these are safe and acceptable. ALL hybrid seed sold by us are directly labeled as hybrid seed. Nearly every vegetable one consumes from the grocery store or at your local restaurant is, or once was, a hybrid.
This typically refers to a process by which the genetics of a plant are modified in a way that nature could not create on its own. This is typically done by using recombinant DNA technology to bring together DNA molecules from different sources, typically NON PLANT BASED, to create a new and novel set of genes which are then transferred to a host organism, giving that organism a new and unique set of genes. It is this NON NATURAL form of manipulation which most people reject and which we agree requires more testing and crop protection protocols. The idea of inserting a bacteria which is poisonous to insects into a plant that we eat is of obvious concern and, while we are impressed with the technology, we believe that people have the right to know what is in the food they eat. Until more research, crop protections and clear labeling is created we have chosen not to participate in this part of the market.
Given our position, Mountain Valley Seed Co. has signed The Safe Seed Pledge.
The Safe Seed Pledge:
"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."