Return to the Seed Saving Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

Posted by shesoldier 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 13, 11 at 11:20

hi there seed savers!

perplexed by this year's crop of basil. last year i purchased some Italian Basil seeds from a generic garden center. i can't remember the brand unfortunately, but they weren't special heirloom or saved seeds. just factory looking seeds.

the first generation of basil, grown in window boxes with organic gardening soil and worm compost, was great and tasty. i saved a lot of seeds when they went to flower.

this year, the basil grown from the saved seed has been bitter bitter bitter - even when it is still very young and just a few leaves big. the window box conditions are exactly the same, and none of the other herbs and greens growing in them are experiencing the same problem.

could the seeds have been engineered to taste bad on the second generation?

any ideas of what else might be going on?

thanks so much for your thoughts!
shesoldier


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 14, 11 at 0:15

Hi Shesoldier,
No, it would of not been genetically engineered. Genetically engineered seeds are not available to the general public. They are VERY expensive, available to farmers only. Also when the farmers purchase the seeds they must sign papers about not sharing them, saving seed, etc. So that is definitely not your problem.
I don't know what the problem might be. Has it been hotter and drier this year? That can often cause problem, but other than that I do not know.
Remy


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

  • Posted by t-bird Chicago 5/6 (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 14, 11 at 13:23

if they were hybrid seeds however, the offspring may not be similar to the parent.

Remy - do you know if basil can cross with any other relatives, such as oregano or other mint family?


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

thanks for the info remy! it's possible i was thinking of hybrid seeds, as Tbird suggests.

Tbird actually raises another interesting point: the basil was definitely next to mint and thyme (tho no oregano).

otherwise, the growing conditions: temperature, water, soil, location, are identical to the first generation of basil.

thanks for helping to educate a newbie seed saver! :D


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 14, 11 at 21:32

Most basil is OP(Open Pollinated) but it is possible it was a hybrid.
Though basil, thyme, oregano, etc. are in the mint family, they can only cross with their own type, meaning basil with basil, thyme with thyme, etc. Think of is sort of like apes, chimps and us are all in the same family, but we can not breed with each other.
Remy


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

No, it would of not been genetically engineered. Genetically engineered seeds are not available to the general public. They are VERY expensive, available to farmers only. Unfortunately, this is not true.

It IS extremely likely that you purchased GMO seeds. This link has a list of companies that sell Monsanto GMO seeds.

Since 1993, food companies have been permitted to put GMO material in food without any indication on the label. If you've eaten anything from a package or the produce section in the last 18 years, you've probably eaten GMO's.

There is a huge amount of info about GMO's out there. Do your own research, watch the documentaries, check out the lawsuits, and draw your own conclusions.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

Gotta disagree with purpleinopp. These companies are NOT wasting their time on something as mundane as Basil. Their efforts go towards major cash crops that are often exported overseas. I have worked in this industry for 30 years, and know what I'm talking about.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

Times, they are a'changin...

If by mundane you mean common, I would disagree with your disagreement. The most common food seeds are those which are the targets. Many commercial food crops have GMO versions or are being studied for potential genetic engineering. Many countries are banning the seeds and the produce. They have a green light to do anything here in the US, though.

You may be correct that basil hasn't had its' number called yet, but thanks for inspiring me to take a closer look. A google of "GMO basil" is primarily links to businesses claiming their basil seeds or food made from their basil are non-gmo. So it's either an issue that exists or these are attempts to nip it in the bud before they do mess with it. Monsanto has been purchasing seed companies that give them a huge percent of the US seed market and they hold thousands of plant patents. They don't have to put anything on the labels, so they could be doing anything.

I like the story-like way it's explained on this site.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Wed, Aug 17, 11 at 18:24

Purpleinpopp,
I sell seeds for a living. You can not and buy genetically modified seeds for the home garden. Yes, there are a lot of processed products out there with GMOs. I hate GMOs! But I know the facts.
One FACT is they are NOT FOR SALE to the HOME GARDENER. Please do not spread false rumors. Spread the truth about GMOs and how bad they are like causing super weeds,etc. but please don't say you can buy them in a seeds packet on a rack at your local Walmart, Lowes, etc. It causes people to not believe the things that are true.
GMO seeds cost a pretty penny. You will not find them in cheap dollar packets. Also when a farmer buys them they have to sign legal documents. I have seen the documents.
If GMO seeds are ever available for the home gardener, believe me I will be the first one screaming from the hilltops about it.
Remy


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

One FACT is they are NOT FOR SALE to the HOME GARDENER.

Remy, thanks for the info. I can't find anything but concern over GMO basil. You seem to be correct. I'm not trying to spread false rumors. Just adding the numbers and stating the obvious result I get: GMO companies want to control everything, they are buying the seed companies, they will find a way to get every possible penny from every possible person from these seeds.

I didn't realize they were moving so slowly on this front but I'm glad. Having known about the issue for a few years and hearing lately about the seed companies they are buying, it sure seems suspicious.This is the kind of issue that makes one feel like a speck of dust in the path of the vacuum cleaner. I apologize for being overzealous but am glad for this discussion to bring the issue to the attention of a few more people. Thanks again for your professional viewpoint. Have you any suggestions for what individuals can do to combat this?

As I said above, please do your own investigation, everyone. Let's talk about it. Superweeds are scary, and so is the fact that we've been eating this stuff for almost 20 years. I've never talked to anyone about it who said they wouldn't avoid it if the label gave the necessary info to do so.

If GMO seeds are ever available for the home gardener, believe me I will be the first one screaming from the hilltops about it.

Thank you. I'm glad to talk to someone else who is concerned. It's going to take a lot of people screaming. Only, they have to know about it first...

Unfortunately, there has been no concrete answer about shesoldier's bitter basil. Shesoldier, you haven't talked about the soil (re-used or new,) or fertilizing. Maybe some info about those aspects could help diagnose the problem.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 21, 11 at 9:03

Purpleinopp,
It is good to keep an eye on Monsanto. They are a corporation out to make a lot of money, and I don't trust them as far as I can throw them. There is a backlash against them and GMOs. The Organic Farmers are suing them so that is a good thing. So there are people out there still growing seeds and food that are not in conjunction with GMOs.
When you hear about companies that buy the GMo stuff, you can write to them to complain. If enough people say they will no longer buy brand X cereal, they won't use the seeds.
When news stories pop up about GMOs like a recent super weed one, I posted in on my FB account because those types of outlets allow many people including non-gardeners to see them. I do make sure they are from legitimate sources before posting so when I do post, it can be read with legitimacy.
Have you seen the movie 'The World According to Monsanto'? If you haven't you should.
Remy

Here is a link that might be useful: The World According To Monsanto


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

I've seen that documentary but hadn't realized there was a link to watch the whole thing on internet, posted the link on FB and watched it again this morning. Thanks for sharing it.

When you hear about companies that buy the GMo stuff, you can write to them to complain. If enough people say they will no longer buy brand X cereal, they won't use the seeds.

This is extremely difficult without the proper product labeling. I've not heard of any companies touting their gmo ingredients, so it's apparently not something the companies are proud of. One thing I have been doing for the past few years is not buying anything with corn syrup in it (except an actual bottle of corn syrup.) Corn seems to be the most prevalent food crop invading products via this syrup vector. In the past few months, there are products showing up on shelves with blurbs like "no high fructose corn syrup" right on the front. This seems like a backwards way to combat this, though - trying to stop something after it exists rather than preventing this kind of thing before it gets going at all.

I do make sure they are from legitimate sources before posting so when I do post, it can be read with legitimacy.

This is also extremely difficult when you are not a scientist and unfamiliar with which scientists are legitimate. One would think that a company that sells seeds is a reliable source of info about seeds, but since Monsanto started buying so many of them, a search of each company's corporate hierarchy is necessary. After watching the documentary you linked again, I wonder how many of the seed companies that pop up when one types "GMO basil" into search engine are really now subsidiaries of Monsanto and are just using this as a marketing gimmick to assuage the fears of those such as myself. That would be congruous with Monsanto's known tactics and techniques.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge from inside the seed industry.

Have you seen the documentary linked below?

Here is a link that might be useful: The future of food documentary


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Sun, Aug 28, 11 at 13:05

Hi,
Sorry I did not reply back. I held my annual tomato party yesterday so between that and other things, I never stopped back.

About the legitimate sources, I find that often some people I know post from a fringe what I like to call hippy dippy trippy websites as opposed to say CBS or the New York Times. The bigger sources may still make mistakes, but smaller overly gung-ho ones do not have the resources to check a story and may jump the gun and publish something to be debunked later. Like there was a recent super weed study. A friend published from a site I've never heard of. So I did a quick search and found the info on a few well known places. So I picked a well written one with quotes from farmers and posted that.

I did google "GMO Basil" to see what came up, and you are right all that all these places come up "Non-GMO" Basil! But it isn't Monsanto, many companies unfortunately like to make money off people's fears. I go to many a site where I'll see in bold letters NON_GMO SEED!!, and that drives me nuts. It is like the Patriot Seed site. That one plays off of people's GMO fears, doomsday fears, seems USA proud, etc. Or there are some seed companies that throw religious stuff on their pages to make themselves look Christian and make more money. Sometimes people spend the money and never receive seeds. There's even a place that sell tomato seeds that advertises most everything as RARE! They are known to change seed names/description to sell more seed. Oh and even advertise them as organic, but they have no certifications. I just thought of another place with an organic sounding name, but none of their stuff is actually certified organic, and they charge way way too much for seed. Unfortunately there are people with shady business practices and scammers everywhere.

About buying GMO free processed products, I often forget that other areas of the country do not have excellent stores like Wegmans that have designated non GMO areas where you can buy products and not worry about that. Shopping in good places like that does help. You can find lists on the internet of companies and products. I'm attaching Green Peace's list because it also includes non GMO stuff as well.

All of this reminds me of the time I saw a lady in Wegmans flipping out over the very large radishes that were on display. She was screaming about GMO radishes being for sale and how could Wegmans do that. Since she had never seen such big radishes, she assumed they were GMO, and no one could convince her otherwise. They were just a large variety like German Giant.
So I guess my point is it is good to have a healthy dose of skepticism, but not hysteria. : )

I have not seen the movie in its entirely so thank you for the link!
Remy

Here is a link that might be useful: GMO Shopping Guide


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

A tomato party sounds like fun! Hope it was. I was on vacation this past week and didn't get online at all. Very relaxing.

I am again glad for this discussion since I had already assumed it was pretty much "a done deal" and past the point where any effort against it would be worthwhile. So now I feel like I should listen to my conscience when it tells me this is a cause on which my time and effort would be well placed. When one isn't hysterical, it's easy to forget there are others who are who sound similar to yourself.

Have been to Wegman's when visiting friends in Buffalo, but the choice of stores in rural AL is very limited. I like the idea of a store taking the initiative to provide a non-GMO section. So far, I haven't talked to anyone around here about GMO foods who had heard of it before I brought it up. That seems strange to me because this area is so agricultural.

Incidentally, lunch today = toasted, open-face tomato/basil/mozzarella sandwiches. Will make sure the discussion doesn't involve GMO foods at all. Smiles!


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

All GMO's aside, was the basil bitter before or after it flowered?
Are *all* the circumstances the same as last year? I only ask because I had something similar to this. I bought 4 packages of sweet basil seeds this year (same brand bought on the same day), opened them & put all in one package for planting. I ended up not having enough room in my raised planter for them so planted some in another planter that contained different soil (one was in one brand of potting mix (A) & the other was in a new brand of potting mix (B)). The ones in the second planter (B) grew taller faster & looked better, but were bitter as all get out & tasted like grass. But the ones in the first planter (A) grew at the normal rate, looked, eh, average & were just fine tasting.
Seeing as I know all the seeds are the same (or atleast mixed together) & I know the lighting/watering/temps were the same, it has to have been the potting mix, which I will never buy again.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

As for the basic question of whether or not there is GMO basil out there...definitely (I'm sorry to say). Now is yours GMO? Impossible to say for sure without a lab test. Yes, the cash crops got first attention from the big agri-science corporations (who will remain nameless), but it was a lot easier to slip GMOs into the environment using crops that didn't have as much of a spot-light on them. Nobody was closely watching things like herbs...so unless you have an electrophosphoresis machine in your basement, it's hard to know if you've been slipped a fakey. What, you don't have one? Exactly. Nobody does, so for decades, illegal experiments have been conducted on the population and nobody was the wiser. in fact, it is likely that some seeds have been completely replaced by genetically modified varieties in the market (but you can't prove it, unless you have a true heriloom to compare it to...so who is to say what the original DNA looked like? Unless you get access to the seed vault that's been created at the north pole to store and protect the last of the real seeds).

Anyway, basil is not a waste of time for the sci-fi guys...they have mapped it, and there are all sorts of experimental variations out there (one intended to fight cancer even, i believe being produced in india at a university). I encourage you all to get some lab equipment and a biology degree, and....oh forget it. just roll-over and take it, the way the globalists expect you to.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

The bitterness may have been if you had either a hybrid basil that doisn't bree true ...

OR ... maybe the basil cross pollinated with one of the strange flavoured ones and your seeds are the result of that.


 o
RE: genetically engineered basil seeds? generations of bitter!

Japeters, could you provide any references to genetically modified basil?


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Seed Saving Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here