I'm not saying that I'll never grow another hybrid, but this year I’m putting a bit more thought into where my seeds come from and trying to grow more heirloom open-pollinated varieties. I'm trying to become more aware of where my seeds are bred, and put more energy into finding organically grown strains.
Johnny’s Seeds, one of my favorite catalogs, offers a small percentage of seeds from Seminis.
Monsanto can afford to hire high-priced lobbyists that have been able to get legislation passed that makes it illegal for even home growers to save seeds. The film Food Inc does a wonderful job of documenting the way the company has bullied small farmers, and the frightening number of government operatives who are former Monsanto executives, or have other ties to the company.
Why should we let Monsanto or any other big corporation tell the backyard gardener or commercial farmer what seeds she can save? Before seeds were available commercially, anyone who wanted to grow anything did this. But Monsanto is making it harder and harder, narrowing their selection and engineering more and more varieties that resist replicating, and I don't think that's something we should support.
So what brands and products ARE affiliated with Monsanto? First of all, it’s not just seeds. It’s most of the pesticides, fertilzers, and herbicides, like Round Up in your garden center, so be wary of those too. Fedco, Stokes, Rupp, Osborne and Snow are among the other seed suppliers who are known to have ties to the company. One way to find safer seeds is buy from smaller companies that specialize in heirloom seeds, and if you can find those locally and/or organically grown, even better. In the Gardengirl forums there is a list of a companies that have taken the "Safe Seed" pledge with links to their sites. You can check for updates to the pledge at the Center for Responsible Geneitics here.