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The 10 Best Online Seed Banks That Ship to the US (2021 Update)

There are many cannabis seed banks today, but if you live in the United States you need to find a legitimate company to deliver to you. This is because federal legal guidelines prohibit the purchase of cannabis seeds for growing your plants, and cannabis seeds also cannot be shipped across state borders.

If you are looking for a quality online seed bank, you’re in luck. There are many reliable sperm banks out there that will ship the seeds to you in a discreet package and will offer extra coverage and replacements if your seeds are stopped at customs. In this list, we have included both the most respected seed bank in the US and internationally .

Here’s everything you need to know about buying cannabis seeds online in the US and the top quality seed banks to find them at.

Editor’s Choice

  • Germination guarantee on all of the 100+ strains available
  • Free and fast shipping
  • Seeds are very high quality and guaranteed to germinate
  • Loads of free resources available directly from the website
  • Stealth delivery is available

10 Best Cannabis Seed Banks That Ship to the USA

  • I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) – Editor’s Choice
  • Crop King Seeds
  • MSNL Seedbank
  • Seedsman
  • Quebec Cannabis Seeds
  • Gorilla Seeds
  • Herbies Seeds
  • Seed Supreme
  • Amsterdam Marijuana Seeds
  • Attitude seeds

Note: Use coupon “Healthcanal” for 15-30% off

Check website for additional deals and coupons.

  • Germination guarantee on all of the 100+ strains available
  • Free and fast shipping
  • Seeds are very high quality and guaranteed to germinate
  • Loads of free resources available directly from the website
  • Stealth delivery is available


  • A limited selection of strains
  • Poor customer service
  • Tracked shipments are not free; you got to pay an extra $25.
  • Selling unbranded seeds

ILoveGrowingMarijuana (or ILGM for short) is one of the most popular best online seed banks for several reasons. ILGM offers incredible customer service, a wide variety of seeds to choose from, excellent sales and discounts, and an extensive collection of free growing resources for the brand new and professional grower online.

ILGM is based in the Netherlands and is run by Robert Bergman, an incredibly skilled professional marijuana grower who has been developing marijuana and growing strains for ten years. They offer cheap prices, very high-quality marijuana seeds, and deliver to so many different countries. This high-quality seed bank provides a wide range of marijuana seeds. No matter what your tastes, you will find something you will love in this quality place to buy marijuana seeds.

If you want cannabis seeds ship to the USA, this company is the way to go, which offers tons of marijuana seeds and offers advertisements to find what you like. If you’re not sure what to try, the breeder has a variety of professional and amateur starter and value packs. That way you can try them out by size to see what you like.

The company accepts a variety of pricing options, including using bitcoin, credit card, bank transfers, or cash as payment. The seeds are delivered free of charge and all seed products come with a germination guarantee. If your seeds fail to germinate, we will send another one for free. Over 100 different varieties are available and the website is well worth a visit.

  • Extensive growth and plant knowledge base
  • High-quality CBD strain for medicated patients
  • 80% germination guarantee
  • Global shipping including USA and Canada
  • Multiple payment methods


  • Not offer free shipping
  • Limited stock selection of strain compared to other seed banks
  • Poor customer support

Crop King Seeds is one of the best seed banks in North America, which has been providing superb seeds for nearly 15 years located in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2005, Crop King Seeds has perfected the genetics of the cannabis plant for clinical and industrial growers looking for the ultimate in THC levels and crop size.

This company is slowly starting to make its mark – and build its reputation – as a top-notch seed bank shipping to the United States. Their seeds are perfect for novice and advanced growers who want an excellent yield. The company allows you to choose various filters to find the variety that best suits your needs and also provides a section of the website that tells you all about how you germinate your new seeds.

The company does not have a free shipping policy, the least expensive delivery choice is around ten dollars However, there are 31 unique varieties to choose from, all with an excellent germination rate of 80% or more. If your seeds fail to germinate, the company will resend you new seeds.

They supply cannabis seeds both in the US and worldwide. All global orders are guaranteed to be delivered, and if not, resend them yourself, even adding random things like pens and flashlights to their orders to keep them discreet and easy. You can pay them with Bitcoin, Credit Card Visa, or Mastercard.

  • Low-price cost packs available that will help you save money
  • Best for commercial buyers
  • High-quality cannabis strains
  • Offers Stealth shipping
  • Different Payment Methods available


  • No free shipping unless shopping for in bulk
  • Average consumer service

MSNL Seed Bank is outstanding among other online seed banks shipping to the United States region. A Netherlands based company that has been in business since 1999. The company offers top-quality seeds that the cannabis community likes and values. Also, they are one of the BEST ONLINE SEED BANKS with an online platform that is appropriately structured, contains all the important information, and is easy to use.

In the company, the experts develop marijuana seeds to obtain a germination percentage higher than 90%, and they go through exhaustive tests with manual tests, along with quality control elements.

Most packages offer exceptionally fast shipping and take less than 3 weeks to be delivered. MSNL Seeds has received a ton of awards for its marijuana genetics. They offer excellent seeds that are guaranteed to be top-notch. The seeds are handled and developed by first-class specialists in their company. So you don’t have to worry about damaged seeds or other problems. The professional inspector checks all normal seeds manually before sending them to you.

The package contains a random product in which the seeds are placed. The company is committed to ensuring that you receive the seeds in every possible way. With every purchase, you make sure you get free seeds. A good example is for anyone who orders from you regularly and receives 5 free seeds. There are wholesale packages available that contain twice the amount of seeds added and are great for commercial buyers.


  • A wide selection of strains
  • Discreet packaging
  • Highly rated, with reviews of individual strains
  • Easy navigation on the website
  • Loyalty program and good promotions


  • Limited germination guarantee
  • Expensive seeds
  • Poor customer service

Seedsman, a UK-based seed bank, is widely recognized as the most trusted seed bank founded in 2003. Since then she has been a well-known supplier in the high-quality seeds market. These are some of the best seeds on the internet banks that deliver seeds to the United States.

The good thing about them is that they have a group of over 3,000 specialty cannabis seeds. The company collects from 65 sperm banks around the world. So when you shop with Seedsman you cannot only buy their seeds but also buy those from different growers.

Seedsman offers a range of the most affordable seeds but still manages to offer a top-quality product. You’re sure to find something that suits you, the right cannabis seed for yourself.

You can even buy medicinal seeds that offer cures for many different aches and pains. Some of these are depression, inflammation, anxiety, insomnia and a lot more check out their medicinal seeds page to see more facts about them.

The company also offers customers a guaranteed shipping option where you are guaranteed delivery of the seeds no matter what. Also, offer regular discounts and they even offer loyalty points so you can save money on your subsequent buying trip.


  • 20% Bitcoin Payment Discount
  • 80% germination rates
  • Various strain selections options
  • Fast and discreet shipping
  • Good customer service


  • Only one option for $10 regular shipping
  • Minimum order amount of $70
  • Website is slightly less sophisticated than some others

Quebec Cannabis Seed Bank is one of the largest producers and carriers of cannabis strains. Quebec Cannabis Seeds was founded in 2012 and is operated out of Montreal. This Canadian seed bank carries only the best of the best strains and also offers great customer service.

Not Quebec Cannabis Seeds only has fifty of the world’s best strains of marijuana seeds, but you can find 50 exclusive species of the world’s largest cannabis seeds, including auto-flowering, regular, and feminized marijuana seeds.

The seed bank has been in operation for more than 15 years and mainly focuses on the quality of the marijuana they offer. When looking for recreational or medicinal cannabis, you can be sure that you have quality strains with the stated amounts of CBD and THC.

Some of the best-selling brands of their product are Jack Herer feminized, Quebec gold feminized, AK47, and QC black gold marijuana seeds. Although the seed bank is located in Canada, it delivers the weed seeds all over the world via fast and secure courier service.

You can buy marijuana seeds online with no concern about their stealth service program. They will cleverly hide the seeds in things like very ordinary CDs, birthday cards, and the like. It will be tracked along with your order so you know exactly when it will arrive too. You will experience high-quality strains ideal for recreational and medicinal uses.


  • The different option of payment methods
  • Excellent customer services
  • Worldwide shipping
  • Discreet shipping
  • A wide selection of strains


  • No Germination guarantee
  • No loyalty program

This seed bank is located in the UK and has made a name for itself in the marijuana market in a very short time. Gorilla Seed’s bank was established in 2011 and the owners of the company have incorporated their cannabis experience, which adds to more than 40 years of serve the public.

Gorilla Seed Bank offers a variety of strains that are among the most popular worldwide and from exclusive growers, has more than 2500 marijuana lines from over 60 seed growers. At the moment the company does not grow its strains and sell seeds from companies including Barney’s Farm, Greenhouse Seeds, Bomb seeds, DinaFem, Psalm, and Big Buddha.

There are many different strains and varieties of seeds, such as auto-flowering seeds, feminized seeds, and medicinal strains. Pineapple Chunk, Cash Crop, AK49, Super Cheese, OG Kush, and the Widow are their bestselling marijuana strains.

The costs for Gorilla seeds are excellent, even without taking into account the free seeds you get as part of each order and the free delivery they offer. They sell high quality and most popular seeds at costs that are up to 30% lower than that of authentic growers. Pay them with bitcoin, debit or credit, cash or wire transfers, and you’ll be ready to have your marijuana seeds right at home.


  • Worldwide shipping
  • Fast shipping to the US
  • Stealth option available
  • Various choices for payment method
  • Offer in Discreet Package


  • No cash payments

Established 20 years ago, Herbies Seeds is dedicated to imparting clients with top-notch hashish seeds for longer than maximum companies.

Herbies ensure first-rate readability by providing you with a particular product description and all the records you need about your weed seeds. Herbies Seeds prides itself on a choice of top-notch cannabis seeds online. Herbies seeds come from at a minimum 70% contained for your germinate properly and make a great product.

This cannabis seed company has over 2,000 distinct marijuana strains to select from, each with specific marijuana strains. Herbies Seeds offer feminized seeds, automatic flowering, high THC, even strain for beginners. In short, regardless of what you’re looking for, Herbies’ excellent choice of strains will help you find the quality seeds that appeal to you. You can buy your preferred seeds in the manner you feel most comfortable with even transfer.

Herbies Seeds offer international shipping services from across the world. Shipping to the USA will take about 5-8 days. All orders come with free cannabis seeds. The seeds are hidden in the product. Choose the stealth shipping option for maximum security. In stealth bags, seeds are removed from their original packaging and placed in nothing special Ziplock bags, disguised as a regular buy that will help you avoid undesirable attention.

In addition to the anonymity option, anonymous bills through Bitcoin help ensure safe, invaluable purchases. Herbies Seeds prides itself on reliability and prompt service. No, matter where you are global, Herbie guarantees that you will receive your seeds in less than weeks. Visit Herbies customer service team for help.


  • Stores seeds from reputable seed banks
  • A large variety of strains
  • Big rewards and discounts
  • Guarantee delivery offers free seeds
  • Descriptive blog information


  • A separate charge for guaranteed delivery and stealth packaging delivery
  • Poor Customer Service
  • Limited payment options

Seed Supreme offers all marijuana seeds to many well-known breeders around the world, offering their seeds at very low prices and reasonable prices. This seed bank that ships to the United States are relatively new, established in 2013 in England and has since provided the world the first best marijuana seed in the business.

One of the best things about SeedSupreme Seed Banks is that they have a very good loyalty program. If you shop on their website, you will get free kush cashpoints. These kush currency points can be used as real money to buy most of their items. They have a total value of 4000+ one of a kind of collection collected from more than 100 breeders worldwide. So you have a wide variety to choose from.

When ordering, they will cover your marijuana seeds inside things like pens, T-shirts, toys, etc. If you are an order from the United States, it will take between 15 and 30 days for the seeds to reach you. You will need to pay $ 15 for delivery. If the order does not reach you, they will happily send someone else. One of the latest marijuana varieties they promote is Somango, White Widow, Sticky Zkittle Glue, Gorilla Glue, and Purple haze.


  • Free shipping
  • Guaranteed Shipping
  • Large strains of high-quality products
  • Excellent team of customer service
  • A lot of payment options


  • Not offers any discount codes

AMS Seed Bank is an Amsterdam based company founded in 2002. One of the excellent seed banks that ship high-quality cannabis seeds worldwide. They have gathered several experiences in germination and strain genetics; you could get lots of exclusive kinds of strains on their website.

They are strain experts and only bring hand-selected strains. They only promote the best strains, resulting in a handful of strains available on their website. AMS sells around 135+ strains specific to cannabis. Although they have a smaller quantity of strains, the available strains are the best of the best.

As with all the top quality online seed banks that ship to the USA, this AMS seed bank also gives various payment methods like bank transfer, cash, credit and debit cards, western union, bitcoin, etc.

They have free shipping worldwide which is stealthy and discreet. Plus, they’ll always provide you with free seeds in case you buy more than 10 seeds from them, and they also have a detailed grow guide available for anyone new to growing marijuana on their own and with a guarantee. 21-day shipping or they will resend the seeds for free.


  • Trusted Brand Company
  • Wide range strain selection
  • Inexpensive seeds
  • Worldwide shipping
  • Lots of discounts and promotion


  • No Germination guarantee

Attitude Seed Bank is the UK-based retail distributor of cannabis seeds and goods. According to its website, it is the largest hemp seed bank globally. There are over two hundred brands of cannabis seeds on the market on their websites. Whatever you like, we are sure that you will find it on their website.

Ordering in the USA will take approximately one to three weeks and they allow you to select individual seeds of different types and order them that way. In one order, you can have as many individual seeds of different brands and types as you want.

They have 9 special cannabis brands selling things like bags and other cannabis-related apparel. You can pay with cash, debit card, credit card, money order, or prepaid Visa cards. They also have different shipping alternatives that are discreet and stealthy. Several different types of stealth packages are offered.

Is It Legal to Buy Cannabis Seeds?

There are some key exceptions to the legality of cannabis seeds in the United States. Specifically, you can legally buy or own seeds to use as bait for fish or birdseed. The caveat here is that the seeds that fit this description generally tend to be commercial hemp seeds with fairly low percentages of THC. In other words, you can’t use the seeds to grow plants that will give you the high associated with cannabis.

Interpretations of legal guidelines have also changed over the years. Interpret legal guidelines to indicate that cannabis seeds are legal, provided they are not sprouted. This lack of germination is key.

To further complicate the whole question of the legality of cannabis seeds, some states allow you to legally possess the seeds but not grow them. Only fewer than 20 states allow you to grow cannabis plants legally, so even if you can legally own the seeds in other states, you can’t do anything with them.

How to Know Your Cannabis Seeds are Real

As with any harvest, a successful cannabis harvest starts with quality seeds, but even for long-time growers, it can be difficult to choose the best. To give you a concept of what to look for when preparing your seeds for your Marijuana Garden, here we are talking about the ability to identify high-quality cannabis seeds by sight.

  • Appearance and Color: Viable seeds are brown, brown, or even black, their immature seeds are lighter colors such as white, yellow, and light green
  • Size and shape: Round or teardrop is the best quality.
  • Hardness and durability: smooth outer shells and non-cracked surface
  • Age: Store seeds in a cool, dark place (even in a freezer) to keep them from rot or getting moldy.
  • Float Test: Just enough distilled water to see if it has enough bulk to sink in an hour or two, and if it does, it generally has a better chance of germinating than Seeds that float.

Seed Bank Payment Options

Payments over the internet are very common these days. People pay almost everything through online payment systems. Hence, marijuana seeds are no exception.

Seed banks have different ways of paying for your order. The various methods are available to you here:

  • Online Bank Transfers
  • PayPal
  • Payment through cash
  • Seed banks that Accept Visa
  • Cryptocurrency
  • A debit card or Credit card


Whether you need to improve the genetics of what you are already growing or you are hoping to grow from the very best fine cannabis seeds, it is essential to realize where to start. Many online cannabis seed banks may disappoint you, but not the ones on this list. The top-notch seed banks of 2020 can cover almost any grower today.

Although we love all of the high-quality seed banks listed online that ship to the US, we tend to lean more towards I Love Growing Marijuana, because they have a huge variety of stress of very high quality and we’ve heard all the positives about them everywhere. They offer a lot of information to new marijuana growers on their website.

Make sure you are certainly buying seeds from a reputable legitimate seed bank. This will help ease any fears you may have and will not only make the purchasing system less stressful but will also make it completely enjoyable.

Overall, all of the online seed banks from a standard that lists delivery to the United States in this post, and all of them are good at the quality of seed and germination success ratios. If you love a few other seed banks from this list, then worry-free and order the seeds today.


Q: Are there any seed banks in the United States?

A: In parts of the United States, there is a huge thriving cannabis market, and American breeders are growing world-famous cannabis strains. The issue has to do with the US federal government and the current legal status of cannabis. Marijuana and its derivatives (including seeds) are counted as a Schedule 1 drug with little or no legal use, making it difficult, if not impossible, for a seed bank to operate in the United States, as it does in the United States, the Netherlands, Spain or Canada (which have legal loopholes or full legalization).

Q: What seed bank has the best genetics?

A: When it comes to buying cannabis seeds, making sure you get the best possible genetics is essential if you want to get the most out of your plant. A great way to make sure of this is to look at the reputation of the seed bank you are buying from because if anything is an indication of quality, it will satisfy customers. With this in mind, we have put together a list of the 10 best selling seed banks here chosen by growers for growers.

The 10 Best Online Seed Banks That Ship to the US (2021 Update)

The reviews and statements published here are those of the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or views of Observer.

Looking for Best Seed Bank Online. Find out our Top 10 Best Seed Banks Online That Ship to USA Fast in 2021

Seeds of the world

“The earth was not given to us by our parents, it was loaned to us by our children.” — Kenyan proverb

Seeds and our future

Traditional varieties of vegetables and grains are a vital heritage: they could be the key to our food security in the future. But, where hundreds of varieties of a crop were once grown, now there may be only two or three, or the crop itself may have been abandoned.

Plant Patenting Laws have made seeds big business, largely controlled by a handful of big companies. (The top 10 seed companies control about 33% of the US$24.4 billion global seed trade, with the top three companies controlling 20%.) Varieties that do not have a world market lose their place and may no longer be sold. Soon they vanish, forever.

Yet the lack of genetic diversity in food crops greatly increases their vulnerability to pests and disease — while breeding new resistant varieties requires the germ-plasm of the old varieties which are being lost.

And at a time when the global climate is changing in unpredictable ways, nobody knows what sort of crops may be needed in the future — the meagre number of commercial varieties available could prove useless in the new conditions.

Green Revolution high-yielding hybrid rice

The brave new seeds of the “Green Revolution” are hybrids — so-called HYVs, high-yielding varieties that will not breed true and must be bought anew from the seed companies each year.

Others have renamed them HRVs — high-response varieties, increasingly bred to respond to high levels of chemical fertilizers and for resistance to toxic pesticides. Seldom are the high yields reported in the test fields reproduced on actual farms, less still on the small farms most Third World people depend on for their food supply. And the new seeds lack the nutritional content of the traditional varieties.

High-yelding hybrid corn — about as nutritious as tissue paper

Other tests have shown that old varieties, grown with good soil management and NO chemicals, can equal the yields of the hybrids and far surpass their nutritional quality.

And, unlike the traditional varieties, the new hybrids do not last long — even with high levels of chemical protection, they succumb to pest attack after a few years and have to be replaced by another newly bred hybrid.

And here lies the problem: the germplasm for the new seeds comes from the old varieties, but the new seeds displace the old — often where once scores or hundreds of old varieties were grown, now there’s only one, the same new variety that now needs replacing.

As one expert commented, it’s a strange technology that destroys the very foundation it depends on.

The development of GE (Genetically Engineered) seeds (also termed GMOs — Genetically Modified Organisms) that contain genes from quite different plants — or from life-forms that are not plants at all — has now taken the erosion of sustainable crop varieties to a whole new level of risk.

In collaboration with food crop conservation organizations, Journey to Forever will collect seeds of useful local varieties of food crops wherever we go, saving them for the future as well as redistributing them to other farmers further along our route. We will work with concerned NGOs to ensure that peasant plant breeders’ rights are protected.

Seed resources

The Threatened Gene: Food, Politics, and the Loss of Genetic Diversity , Cary Fowler and Pat Mooney, 1991. Vanishing seeds: “Loss of genetic diversity in agriculture — silent, rapid, inexorable — is leading us to a rendezvous with extinction — to the doorstep of hunger on a scale we refuse to imagine.” 270-page book provides an excellent introduction to the history and geopolitics of genetic diversity. Pat Mooney is executive director of the ETC Group, previously Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI). Download PDF (14 MB):

“More than 90 per cent of crop varieties have disappeared from farmers’ fields.” — UK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition
This site has good resources on seed issues and food security.

“One of the world’s most pervasive threats to world food and livelihood security is the loss of biological diversity.” — Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)

GRAIN is an international NGO, part of a global movement of popular action against genetic erosion. Publishes the excellent “Seedling” newsletter, books and other materials, briefings and ad hoc publications, global trade and biodiversity in conflict, an email mailing list. Site search. Website also in French and Spanish versions.

A trainee of the Community Seed Bank Training Program in the Solomon Islands collects long red beans from a subsistence garden (Seed Savers’ Network)

“In order to have access to a wide diversity of useful plants to meet our essential needs beyond 2000, we must gather, annotate, and caretake these resources now, before they are further eroded.” — Seed Savers’ Network
This Australian seedsaving group is involved in projects in Zimbabwe, Cambodia, Tonga, Cuba and the Solomon Islands.

Local Seed Network Manual tells how to establish and run a local seed group. 100 pages on forming a network, promoting and sharing skills, and sourcing, drying, cleaning, storing, testing and distributing seeds. Illustrated. Buy at Seed Savers’ Network :

The Heritage Seed Library run by the HDRA in Britain (“Garden Organic”) aims to conserve as much biodiversity as it can and make as many varieties of vegetables available as possible. About 700 varieties in the collection, mostly vegetables. Seeds are supplied to volunteer Seed Guardians who cultivate threatened varieties of vegetables in their gardens. A Seed Swap section encourages informal exchange of rare seeds. The Library also publishes the quarterly newsletter Seed News covering plant genetic resources.

SeedSaving Resources — This comprehensive site is a “one-stop-shop” of Web resources on plant genetic resources, seedsaving and seed swapping, and worldwide sources of organic, heirloom, open-pollinated and non-GE seed and plants.

The Seed Exchange email list has nearly 700 members from around the world, including university agriculture departments and research stations. Moderated list, no advertising, members’ email information kept totally private. To subscribe send a blank email to: [email protected] with the word SUBSCRIBE as the subject of the message.

Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) of Tucson, Arizona, is a nonprofit organization that works to conserve the traditional crops, seeds, and farming methods that have sustained native peoples throughout the southwestern US and northern Mexico. “We promote the use of these ancient crops and their wild relatives by gathering, safeguarding, and distributing their seeds, while sharing benefits with traditional communities. We also work to preserve knowledge about their uses. Through research, training, and community education, NS/S works to protect biodiversity and to celebrate cultural diversity. Both are essential in our efforts to restore the earth.”

“Growing Diversity: Genetic Resources and Local Food Security” , by David Cooper, Renée Vellvé, Henk Hobbelink (editors), 1992, IT Publications, ISBN 1-85339-119-0
Edited by GRAIN (Genetic Resources Action International), this book presents the experiences of NGOs in managing genetic resources at the local level in the Third World. Fifteen authors document the work of local farmers in developing crop varieties suited to their needs and demonstrate how these approaches can be built upon to promote conservation and development. Buy at Growing Diversity

Saving the Seed: Genetic diversity and European agriculture , by Renée Vellvé, GRAIN, 1992, Earthscan, ISBN 1-85383-150-6
“Pandas are cute, tropical rainforests are breath-taking, but how do you mobilize people to save a carrot?” Traces the decline of crop varieties in European farming, and describes what is being done to safeguard genetic resources for the future. The crucial work is being done by individuals and grassroots organizations, who largely go unrecognized and under-resourced. Policies to promote the diversification of European agriculture and an integrated strategy for safeguarding the genetic base of the food system are urgently needed. Buy at Powell’s Books:

Saving the Seed: Europe’s Challenge , by Alvaro Toledo, Seedling April 2002, GRAIN — 2,800-word article examines how the state of play has changed since the publication of GRAIN’s “Saving the Seed: Genetic Diversity and European Agriculture” (Renée Vellvé, GRAIN, 1992, Earthscan, ISBN 1-85383-150-6). “The 1990s have not been a good decade for agricultural biodiversity in Europe. ”

“Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains” by Noel Vietmeyer, 1996, National Academy Press, ISBN 0309049903
Africa has more native cereals than any other continent. It has its own species of rice, as well as finger millet, fonio, pearl millet, sorghum, tef, guinea millet, and several dozen wild cereals whose grains are eaten from time to time. This is a food heritage that has fed people for generation after generation stretching back to the origins of mankind. It is also a local upon which a sound food future might be built. But this legacy of genetic wealth has largely been bypassed in modern times. The “lost crops” can help provide food security in their native areas, which include many parts of Africa threatened with hunger. At the same time maintaining the diversity of these ancient crops will protect options for the rest of the world to use. Full text online at the National Academy Press:
Buy the book at Lost Crops of Africa: Volume I: Grains

Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables , 2006. Full text online at the National Academy Press:
Buy the book at Lost Crops of Africa: Volume II: Vegetables

Lost Crops of Africa: Volume III: Fruits , 2008. Full text online at the National Academy Press:
Buy the book at Lost Crops of Africa: Volume III: Fruits

Ethiopia’s Living Laboratory of Biodiversity — In Ethiopia, home of one of the most publicized famines in the mid-1980s, farmers play a pivotal role in preserving and enhancing some of the world’s most unique seed genetic material. Amid Ethiopia’s diverse topography, climate and soil conditions, local farmers have developed a tremendous base of food-producing seeds. In an effort to ensure Ethiopia’s seed genetic diversity, scientists are discovering that farmers are not merely an adjunct to conserving and enhancing this diversity but are key actors.

“Lost Crops of the Incas: Little-Known Plants of the Andes with Promise for Worldwide Cultivation” Board on Science and Technology for International Development, National Research Council, 1989, ISBN 0-309-04264-X.
Detailed information on more than 30 different Incan crops that promise to follow the potato’s lead and become important contributors to the world’s food supply. Some of these overlooked foods offer special advantages for developing nations, such as high nutritional quality and excellent yields. Color photographs of many of the crops plus the authors’ experiences in growing, tasting, and preparing them in different ways. Full text online at the National Academic Press:
Buy the book at Lost Crops of the Incas

“Seed Savers’ Handbook” by Michel & Jude Fanton, 1993
Without dedicated seed savers, our staple foods would not exist. Such seed resources are only safe in the hands of people who save and grow them and eat their bounty; they are lost in “collections” or storage, or in hybrids wholly owned by multinationals. The Fantons, founders of Australia’s SeedSaver’s Network, show how gardeners can protect our global food heritage — and eat it too. They describe the seed collecting, growth cycles, propagation, cultivation and traditional kitchen and medicinal uses of over one hundred vegetables, culinary herbs and edible flowers. Buy at ECHO’s Global Bookstore:

“New Seed-Starters Handbook” by Nancy Bubel, 1988, Rodale Press, ISBN 0-87857-752-1
Turn to this book for the most complete, up-to-date information on starting plants from seed. Written by a gardener with 30 years of experience, this easy-to-use reference explains everything you need to know to start seeds and raise healthy seedlings successfully. Buy at The New Seed Starter’s Handbook

“Farmers’ Seed Production: New approaches and practices” edited by Conny Almekinders, Niels Louwaars, 1999, Practical Action, ISBN 1853394661
This handbook covers a whole range of issues relating to local seed supply systems, including participatory plant breeding, and both technical and practical information on seed production and variety maintenance. It suggests new approaches and methods to support on-farm seed production by small-scale farmers in developing countries. Buy at the Development Bookshop:

“Heirloom Vegetable Gardening — A Master Gardener’s Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History” by William Woys Weaver, 1997, Henry Holt & Company, ISBN 0805040250
Lists 280 varieties of vegetables, all organically grown by Weaver. He has researched the traditional kitchen garden over the course of 30 years. Old fashioned recipes, research on the introduction of these vegetables, color photographs and line drawings. Weaver maintains his own collection of over 2,000 varieties of vegetables, herbs and flowers. Buy at Powell’s Books

The Seed Search , by Karen Platt, 5th edition, November 2002, Black Tulip Publishing, 368 pages — Sources for 40,000 flowering seeds including all types of flowering plants and over 9,500 vegetables. Includes open-pollinated, untreated, heirloom and organic seed, many rare species. Almost 500 suppliers from all over the world, including many small, unusual seed companies. An alphabetical listing of seed showing which supplier supplies what. Full suppliers details. Buy at Karen Platt’s online bookstore:

Genetically Engineered crops

Genetically modified crops (GMOs, Genetically Modified Organisms) have kept exactly none of the many golden promises made for it, and fulfilled most of the fears and cautions raised by the technology’s detractors — they’re a disaster, nobody benefits except Monsanto et al.

The UN’s landmark International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report on world agriculture of April 2008 said GM technology is not a quick fix to feed the world’s poor. The report is highly critical of genetically engineered crops and saw little role for GMOs in feeding the poor on a large scale. It said GMOs are highly controversial and would not play a substantial role in addressing the key problems of climate change, biodiversity loss, hunger and poverty. “Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable.” Asked if GMOs could solve world hunger, Professor Robert Watson, the director of the IAASTD study, said: “The simple answer is no.” IAASTD website:

“Biotech has bamboozled us all — Studies suggest that traditional farming methods are still the best”
Guardian, August 24, 2000: “If anyone tells you that GM is going to feed the world,” Steve Smith, a director of the world’s biggest biotechnology company, Novartis, insisted, “tell them that it is not. To feed the world takes political and financial will — it’s not about production and distribution.” Mr Smith was voicing a truth which most biotechnology companies have gone to great lengths to deny.,5673,358055,00.html

“Ten reasons why biotechnology will not ensure food security, protect the environment and reduce poverty in the developing world” — by Miguel A. Altieri, University of California, Berkeley and Peter Rosset, Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy

“Will Biotechnology Feed the World’s Poor?” — “One of the biggest myths perpetuated by the biotechnology industry is that genetically engineered crops are likely to provide a solution to world hunger” — Tom Campbell, Development Studies Centre, Kimmage Manor, Dublin, Ireland

Genetic Engineering and World Hunger : Food? Health? Hope?” — “Ensuring food security worldwide requires an approach that is the opposite of that promoted by Biotechnology companies”. 16,000-word article from Britain’s The CornerHouse, debunks the GE companies’ claims that genetic engineering is the key to feeding the world’s increasing numbers of people, that it will help to restore a healthy environment and prevent further degradation, and that it will provide farmers and consumers worldwide with more choices and opportunities.

The ETC Group , formerly Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), is at the forefront of the battle against GMO crops and biopiracy

“GMOs are without a doubt the least democratic and most unpopular new technology since nuclear energy, and their potential to catalyze global ecological and social disaster is terrifying.” — Friends of the Earth International — Full coverage, daily news by email, the usual suspects of the “Biotech Brigade”, and more.

The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods — Campaigns, Action Alerts, information, resources, online bookstore and more:

Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN)

Biotechnology and Biosafety — a large collection of reports, articles, publications from the Third World Network

UK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition

Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments : “We, the undersigned scientists, call for the immediate suspension of all environmental releases of Genetically Modified crops and products; for patents on life-forms and living processes to be revoked and banned; and for a comprehensive public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all.”

“Genetically Engineered food — Safety Problems” — Physicians and Scientists Against Genetically Engineered Food is demanding a moratorium on GE food.

Resources on biotechnology at the Institute of Science in Society website, with reports by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Angela Ryan, Prof. Joe Cummins, and others. Newsletters, mailing list, full site search.

Dr Vandana Shiva

The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology was founded in India in 1982 by Dr. Vandana Shiva , scientist, author and a leading opponent of GE crops and biopiracy.

Against the Grain : Why poor nations would lose in a biotech war on hunger — The promise [of biotechnology] of more abundant and more nutritious food appears to hold out the hope that hunger and disease can be alleviated. With potential like this, who wouldn’t be in favor of genetically engineered crops? For starters, many of the people they are supposed to help. — Sierra Club

Dirty tricks

Corporate Ghosts — There’s a web of deceit over GM food, says George Monbiot — The Guardian, 29 May 2002

The Fake Persuaders — Corporations are inventing people to rubbish their opponents on the internet, says George Monbiot — The Guardian, 14 May 2002

Kernels of Truth — Virulent criticisms were anything but academic — The East Bay Express, 29 May 2002

Amaizing Disgrace — A dirty tricks campaign leads straight to Monsanto’s PR company — The Ecologist, May 2002

Seeds of Dissent — Anti-GM scientists are facing widespread assualts on their credibility. Andy Rowell investigates who is behind the attacks — Big Issue, 15-21 April 2002

Scientists in a Spin — How scientists have become embroiled in a PR dirty tricks campaign — letter to The Guardian, 16 May 2002

The Green Revolution

The Violence of the Green Revolution — Third World Agriculture, Ecology and Politics”, by Vandana Shiva, Zed Books, London, and Third World Network, Malaysia; ISBN 983-99573-8-4, 264 pages. Dr. Shiva examines the impact of the Green Revolution on the breadbasket of India, showing how the “quick fix” promise of large gains in output pushed aside serious pursuit of an alternative agricultural strategy. She documents the destruction of genetic diversity and soil fertility that resulted. Buy at The Violence of Green Revolution

World Hunger: Twelve Myths “, 2nd ed., by Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins, Peter Rosset with Luis Esparza, Food First/The Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1998, 270pp.
First published in the early 1970s, the World Hunger report is an authoritative resource on the problem of global hunger — highly recommended. It debunks 12 persistent misconceptions about hunger, including Myth 5: “The Green Revolution is the answer.” Thorough examination of the issue. The book isn’t just a damnation of wrong-headed development efforts, it also offers a well-considered way forward. Buy at World Hunger: 12 Myths

“Food First” by Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins, Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First), 1977, 416 pages — Why do hundreds of millions of people go hungry? Because there just isn’t enough food to go round? No – there’s more than enough food for everyone. Food First is an eye-opener in exposing the hard realities of how the world food system really works. It confronts the political and economic roots of world hunger and shows how ordinary people can help to end it. Thoroughly researched, good case-studies, thorough references. Written 30 years ago, the book is as relevant today as it was then, or even more so: a very great help in understanding the contradictions of the food price crisis that is driving millions more into hunger today. Buy at Food First

“Lessons from the Green Revolution — Do We Need New Technology to End Hunger?” Peter Rosset, Joseph Collins, and Frances Moore Lappé, Tikkun Magazine, March/April 2000

Nutrient starved soils lead to nutrient starved people“, by Keith Addison, cover story, acres, USA, June 1983, also cover story, Asian Business, February 1983: “Many are the rice terraces hewn with incredible labour from upland slopes and tragically abandoned after only a year when the ground failed to yield a crop at all — meaning the end for that family. Had they used native rice, they would have got some crop at least. But hybrid seeds are now virtually the only seeds available and they will not grow without the expensive inputs that these people have no access to.”

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Seeds of the world “The earth was not given to us by our parents, it was loaned to us by our children.” — Kenyan proverb Seeds and our future Traditional varieties of vegetables and grains