The Big Seed Industry and Cultivar Hybridization

The global seed and hybrid crossbreeding industry... You don't have to think about it for long to want to cry foul!

The two reports below teach us that, not forgetting the loss of genetic diversity resulting from this monopoly on the seed industry, child workers are often behind the production of seeds. Big seed manufacturers give so little back to farmers that farmers can't even pay their employees minimum wage ($6.25/per day). 

Companies buy tomato seed from them at $148 per kilo, if they would pay just $37 more per kilo, the farmers would be able to pay their employees minimum wage, and most likely not have to rely on child labour!


$148 per KILO. When I think of the space, the work and the number of plants grown (a mountain!), pollinated and harvested to make 1 kilo of seeds! That 1 kg is bought from the producer for $148 and resold for between 90,000 and 400,000 euros... Even with paying their workers just $6.25 per day, the producers probably earn less than their employees! Whereas the corporation is earning $399,852 per kilo... something isn't right. 


Beyond the human factor, this is also about privatizing the living, because the hybrid varieties are single-use items. Farmers must buy back the hybrid seeds each year, whereas when nature provides them, it does so each year and free of charge, keeping farmers self-sufficient in seeds.

This is another very good reason to encourage small, artisanal seed producers and ask the right questions.

What types of vegetables does your family gardener grow? Hybrid cultivars or open-pollinated heirloom cultivars? What kind of plants does your garden center offer? Ask them the questions, ask for the name of the variety of tomato, cabbage, pepper and google it. If it's name end with F1, F2 or Hybrid, it's a hybrid variety. 

Tell them it's important to you as a consumer, to the future of all of us. It is OUR responsibility. Ask them for non-hybrid varieties.

Do you plant your own tomatoes and your own garden? This is the perfect opportunity to choose non-hybrid seeds and heirloom cultivars!

Get stuck in with the content we've linked below and please do share this information with the people around you. It's important that people know! 

Semences programmés: a radio program in French about the dark side of the global seed industry.

How Bayer-Monsanto Became One of the Worst Corporate Deals—in 12 Charts

McKenzie Seed Company acquired by Jiffy Canada Inc.

“Cash Investigation”: le goût amer des graines de tomate

Seed Industry Structure

Cinq choses à savoir sur la méga-fusion Bayer-Monsanto