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Findin' non-GMO seed in the United States

(Jan. 17, 2002 – CropChoice opinion) – In the debate over genetically modified crops, one sometimes hears talk of genetic contamination of organic and conventional varieties being so widespread that farmers, processors and consumers should just give up on finding non-genetically modified seed, ingredients and food. Well, that’s just what the biotechnology industry wants. Thankfully, the European Union refuses to relent to pressure from the U.S. government and – on this issue at least – its masters in the biotechnology industry.

Consider that Croatia is working on legislation to ban the cultivation of transgenic crops. To the north, a new Austrian law, effective since Jan. 1, 2002, requires that seed have no contamination from genetically modified organisms above a level of 0.1 percent. The Czech Republic is implementing a new labeling law.

An interesting bit of information on this subject comes from Lynn Clarkson, president of Illinois-based Clarkson Grain Co., Inc. In the 2003 planting year, two companies are gearing up to supply organic and non-transgenic seed to European farmers that meets the 0.1 percent standard. The seed will be grown in Europe, North America and South America.

CropChoice has compiled a list of companies and farms that could supply non-gmo corn, cotton and soybean seed. The criterium for being on the list is that the company can supply seed that has "technical zero" level of transgenic contamination. This means that an accurate PCR analysis reveals 0.1 percent or less adventitious presence of genetically modified organisms.

This "technical zero" may become the EU standard when new seed legislation is proposed this year. The continued international rejection of genetically modified crops, calls for labeling and growing farmer and consumer concern in the United States should help to spur demand for and supply of guaranteed non-transgenic seed for a long time to come.

We’ve listed the seed growers’ and companies’ name, address, contact person, phone number and what types of seed they can supply. This list is by no means exhaustive and interested parties would have to request and pay for a PCR test. CropChoice will add to and update the list from time to time


  • AgSource Seeds, Inc.
    Ken Rose
    1717 E. 8th Street
    Boone, IA 50036
    Food and feed-grade corn, soybean seed. The customer must request a PCR and let them know the threshold they’ll tolerate.

  • Albert Lea Seed House
    P.O. Box 127
    Albert Lea, MN 56007
    Tom Ehrhardt or Mack
    Corn, soybean seed. The customer must request a PCR test for soybeans, but the test for corn seed is standard; Minnesota Crop Improvement Association performs the test.

  • Associated Farmers Delinting
    P.O. box 306
    Littlefield, TX 79339
    Bo Downer, cotton breeder
    Cotton seed. The company is in the process of testing seed lots. They have sent their Rocket and Explorer seed lines to Spain and Greece. They will know in 2-3 months whether they can meet the 0.1 percent standard.

  • Behm Seed
    17730 30th Ave. NE
    Atwater, MN 56209
    Myron Behm
    Food and feed corn, soybean seed

  • Boe’s Seed Farm
    PO Box 732
    Madison, NB 68748
    Jeff Boe
    Food and feed grade soybean, corn seed. Note, the larger the lot, the easier it is to guarantee purity. Boe prefers to supply sobyean seed in 5,000- to 50,000-unit lots.

  • California Planting Cotton Seed Distributors
    John Palmer
    Exports cotton seed to Greece and Spain

  • Campbell’s Seeds
    1375 N. 800 West
    Tipton, ND 46072
    Scott Campbell
    Corn, soybean seed. The quantities requested would have to be large enough to warrant testing and sale.

  • Committee for Agricultural Development at Iowa State University
    This organization can provide farmers and organizations with foundation food- and feed-grade corn and soybean seed. Although growers would have to obtain a license to plant the seed, they could save offspring seed for their own use. Contact is Julie Gustafson at 515.294.4740.

  • DeLange Seed, Inc.
    P.O. Box 7
    Girard, KS 66743
    Steve Ahring
    Soybean seed

  • Delta and Pine Land
    Dr. Tom Kirby, VP for Technical Services, 662.742.4542
    Main number is 662.742.4000
    Company has been providing non-gmo cotton seed to Greece, Spain and Turkey. It does testing, including PCR screening, for adventitious presence of GMOs.

  • Delta King Seed, Co.
    PO Box 970 McCrory, AR 72101
    James Churchill
    Soybean, corn seed

  • Frontier Commodities
    8255 Country Club Road W
    Byron, MN 55920
    Dave Wilcox
    Corn, soybean seed. After farmers grow the seed under contract, the company sends it to either the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association or to BioDiagnostics for testing.

  • Fairview Farms
    2304 150th Street
    Corwith, IA 50430
    Food-grade soybean seed

  • Gateway Seed Company
    5517 Van Buren Road
    Nashville, IL 62263
    Ken Heinzman
    Corn and feed-grade soybean varieities. It is just beginning to venture into non-gmo clear hilium varieties for food purposes.

  • Gries Seed Farms, Inc.
    2348 North 5th Street
    Fremont, OH 43420
    Ed Thurn
    Corn, soybean seed

  • Jung Farm Seeds
    314 S. High
    Randolph, WI 53956
    Peter Jung
    Feed grade corn, soybean seed

  • Kaltenberg Seed Farms
    5506 Hwy 19, Box 278
    Waunakee, WI 53597
    Jack Kaltenberg
    Corn, soybean seed

  • L.B. Wanamaker Seed Company
    PO Box 497
    St. Matthews, SC 29135
    Contact is L.B. Wanamaker
    Soybean seed, though shipped only in small quantities

  • Latham Seed Company
    131 180th Street
    Alexander, IA 50420
    Bill Latham
    Soybean seed

  • Legend Seeds, Inc.
    Box 241
    De Smet, SD 57231
    Soybean, corn seed

  • Lemke Seed Farms
    10220 N. Granville Rd.
    Mequon, WI 53097
    Ralph Lemke
    Feed-grade corn, soybean seed

  • McKaskle Organics
    25 Washington St.
    P.O. Box 1
    Braggadocia, MO
    Steve McKaskle
    McKaskle farms might be able to supply small quantities of cotton seed.

  • NC+ Organics
    P.O. Box 4739
    Lincoln, NE 68504-0408
    Maury Johnson
    Company can provide food- and feed-grade corn and soybean seed (both organic and conventional).

  • North Country Seed LLC
    P.O. Box 548
    Ormsby, MN 56162
    Joel Rabbe
    Food-grade soybean seed

  • Northland Seed & Grain Corporation
    462 Holly Ave.
    St. Paul, MN 55102
    Amy Nankivil
    Corn and soybean seed (organic and conventional)

  • Rodger and Sandy Farms
    9201 Lindsay Road
    Bakersfield, CA 93311
    Rodger or Sandy Sanders
    Cotton seed, conventional and organic varieties

  • Schuster Farms
    1883 Route 89
    Seneca Falls, NY 13148
    Peter Schuster
    Food grade soybean seed

  • The Scoular Company
    2027 Dodge Street
    Omaha, NE 68102
    402. 342-3500

    Greg Lickteig -
    lickteig@scoular.com fax


    Scoular supplies identity preserved corn & soybeans from the USA and Canada. Conventional or Organic. NON-GMO or Variety Specific. Cleaned or Not Cleaned. Bagged or Bulk. Truck, Rail, Container, Barge, or Vessel.

  • Seeds of Change
    P.O. Box 15700
    Santa Fe, NM 87506
    Howard Shapiro
    Phone: (505)438-8080
    Can do food- and feed-grade corn and soybean seed

  • Specialty Grains
    231 N. Sangamon Ave.
    Gibson City, IL 60936
    John Trewartha
    Not a seed company, per se, but has sold very specialized seed into Italy.

  • Twin Peaks Trading
    Michael Pratt
    734.480.7333 (office), 803.467.2596 (cell)
    Soybean, corn seed sourced from various states. Pratt said that he hopes to provide organic canola seed, but that cotton seed would be a bit of a challenge.

  • U.S. Soy LLC
    2808 Thomasson Drive
    Mattoon, IL 61938
    Ed Zimmer
    The company can supply food-grade soybeans. Their testing system is closed loop, relying on a protocol of PCR testing and grow-out that brings the beans to less than 0.1 percent contamination. The company could provide feed-grade soybean seed, but could do only strip testing to gauge the level of transgenic contamination.