January 23, 2016

Monsanto Seed Report


Here’s a Monsanto seed mini-report. I looked at five Monsanto companies: Lewis Hybrids, Kruger Seeds, Specialty Hybrids, Stewart Seeds, Stone Seed. The websites are now completely standardized.
The results were pretty much the same for all five, and similar to 2014 and 2015. Each has an information page about Roundup Ready Xtend soybeans (glyphosate and dicamba-tolerant) but says those aren’t yet available pending further regulatory approval. But they’re expected to become available for 2016. For maize, SmartStax (eight transgenes, six expressing eight Bt poisons plus Roundup Ready and the pat glufosinate-tolerance trait – that’s ten GMO-affiliated poisons total loading up your corn, plus neonics, atrazine, fungicides, sprayed insecticides, god knows what else) has the most varieties followed by DoublePro (Roundup Ready plus two anti-borer Bt toxins), with four of the five sellers having considerably fewer TriplePro (same as DoublePro plus an anti-rootworm toxin). Makes sense. If you’re going to take on rootworm “insurance”, as farmers often convince themselves to see it, might as well go for SmartStax which has Dow’s Cry34/35AB1, the only rootworm toxin which was still working semi-reliably last I heard. All DroughtGard varieties are DoublePro. The number available ranged from one to five. Each had a handful of Roundup Ready 2 (RR2) corn varieties. Available non-GM conventional ranged from zero to three varieties. All soybeans are Roundup Ready 2 Yield (RR2Y) except for two sellers who carried one conventional variety each.


  1. Hi Russ,

    Thanks for investigating and reporting on Monsanto’s seeds.
    I wanted to let you know that I recently re-read First the Seed. I got the second edition. It made me thankful that I long ago gave away my copy of the first edition, because the second edition contains a lot of interesting new information about developments that happened after the first edition’s publication in 1988.
    I very much hope Kloppenburg writes a third edition providing an update on developments that have happened since the second edition came out in 2004..
    Thanks also for the link to Gated Development in an earlier post. Another important recent publication is Philanthropic Power and Development: Who Shapes the Agenda? by Jens Martens and Karolin Seitz.

    Click to access study_philanthropic_power_and_development.pdf

    And there’s also Linsey McGoey’s No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy.
    What the foundation is doing to Africa’s agriculture is horrible. India’s farmers are only beginning to recover from the green revolution. The Gates Foundation should have examined the recovery strategies of India’s farmers and learned from their experience, rather than subjecting Africa’s farmers to something that will surely be worse than India’s green revolution.

    Comment by Brooks Anderson — January 23, 2016 @ 10:18 pm

    • Yes, if Gates and the corporations wanted to help the people they’d certainly be doing things very differently. But then they’re really not trying to help anyone but rather to politically dominate and economically destroy them, since corporate power requires those outcomes.

      My copy of Kloppenburg is the second edition, and it would be great to have a third. Have you heard anywhere that he’s preparing one? I’ve been seeing him involved in the Open Source Seed Initiative and other attempts to find alternatives to patent-based “intellectual property”.

      I thought of you when I read about Sikkim. What do you think of this account?


      If that’s what’s really happening, it’s excellent proof of principle. The exact same thing can be done on the vastest scale, and eventually the global scale.

      Comment by Russ — January 24, 2016 @ 3:57 am

      • I told Jack that it would be great if he comes out with a third edition, but he didn’t indicate that this might happen. He’s very active with the OSSI, including some work with groups in India. Unfortunately, he visited India last summer just when I was visiting my folks in the US, so we missed each other.
        I hadn’t heard about Sikkim going fully organic. That’s tremendous. Thanks very much for the article. But I do know that organic farming is spreading quite steadily among farmers. Last year, a friend attended a huge organic farming convention in Chandigarh. The large attendance shocked the convention’s organizers.
        For such change to happen on the scale of a whole state, there must be very progressive, enlightened leaders. I don’t know of other Indian states where such progressive leadership exists, with the possible exception of Kerala.

        Comment by Brooks Anderson — January 24, 2016 @ 5:18 am

      • You’re welcome for the article. It sure sounds tremendous. I’m glad to hear the organic/agroecology movement is inexorably growing. I need to learn a lot more about the organizations myself – the farmer unions, civil society and seed distribution groups, etc. I don’t know about the details in Kerala.

        I haven’t looked at the OSSI in awhile. Time to go see what they have planned for 2016.

        Comment by Russ — January 24, 2016 @ 5:04 pm

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