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January 24, 2005

Monsanto Wants To Get (The) Healthy

For years I have told people, as the little bit of "good news" to wind up a discussion of bitoech, that at least there aren't any biotech veggies on the market, or biotech seeds being sold through seed catalogs. Well, it looks like that is about to end...

Seminis (formed by the merger of Peto and Royal Sluis some years ago) and enhanced by additions such as Asgrow and Genecorp more recently) is the largest supplier of vegetable seed in the USA, especially to the home garden trade. The company is estimated to control more than 40% of the vegetable seed sold in this country, and I can tell you that through the acquisition of some of our suppliers, it became the largest domestic supplier of seed to my company The Cook's Garden.

Peto was also the most active tester of biotech vegetables in the USA, with more than 90 permits for tomatoes alone a few years back. If you are curious you can look at the status of most any permit at the APHIS biotechnology regulation website.

Anyway, here is the release from this morning:

Monsanto in .4 billion seed co. deal

January 24, 2005 -- Reuters

NEW YORK - Agriculture products company Monsanto Co. was cited as saying on Monday it will buy vegetable and fruit seed company Seminis Inc. for about $1.4 billion in a bid to capitalize on the trend toward healthier diets.

The story says that Seminis supplies more than 3,500 seed varieties to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, dealers, distributors and wholesalers in more than 150 countries around the world.
Hugh Grant, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Monsanto, was quoted as saying, "The addition of Seminis will be an excellent fit for our company as global production of vegetables and fruits, and the trend toward healthier diets, has been growing steadily over the past several years."

Posted by shepherd.ogden at January 24, 2005 10:29 AM