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Monsanto's Seed Company Subsidiaries: 2014 Edition

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

 The rise of genetic engineering has not only diminished the ability for farmers to practice their own methods of seed selection, but also turned another sector of agriculture into a business monopolized by a few corporations.

 Since the 1990s, the number of companies that sell seeds for commodity crops like corn and soybeans has decreased dramatically. Farmers are dependent on a smaller number of firms for seeds, and the prices have risen sharply as the market has become more concentrated.

The seed industry, which once relied on universities for most research and development, is now dominated by a few major chemical and pharmaceutical giants that patent specific traits in seeds and charge fees to farmers who use their patented seeds. Between 1996 and 2007, Monsanto, the largest supplier of genetically engineered (or GMO) seed traits, acquired more than a dozen smaller companies, and it now controls 60 percent of corn and 62.5 percent of soy-bean seeds and seed trait licenses in the United States.

Monsanto's vegetable seed subsidiary, Seminis, is one of the largest seed distributors and has been acquiring seed companies since the mid-1990s. Monsanto acquired Seminis in 2005.

In addition to the many seed companies that are partially or fully owned by Monsanto and Seminis, some seed compa-nies distribute Seminis products, along with other compa-nies' products. This does not mean that these companies are owned by Seminis or Monsanto, nor do they necessarily supply GMO vegetables - Seminis has many products that are conventionally bred hybrid varieties. But they do bring Seminis products to the market.