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The 10 Companies Controlling the World’s Seed Supply

Christina Sarich
NationofChange / News Analysis
Published: Monday 21 October 2013
They are trying to own the natural, self-replicating ways of Mother Nature herself.
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You’ve likely already heard of Monsanto due to the reporting of alternative news sites like, but did you know that there are just ten big corporations that are controlling the entire world’s seed supply? The top three control almost 50 percent of all seeds. These companies’ profiteering account for trillions in seed patents, fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide sales and they aren’t going to loosen their iron-grip on our food supply without a fight.

These companies have been monopolizing our food for over three decades now, and taken a birthright—healthy, nutritious and delicious food right from our mouths and bellies. The food chain is now dominated by multinational corporations, utilizing intellectual property laws and expensive lawyers to commodify plant genes and budging farmers’ rights aside by lobbying the governments both locally and throughout the world.

Their plan is to patent every seed with biotechnology. They are trying to own the natural, self-replicating ways of Mother Nature herself. Seeds have been part of public domain for millennia. What gives Big Agriculture and Big Biotech the right to ownership at all?

Together these ten companies own more than 75 percent of all seeds planted on the earth right now.

Here is a list of the evil BIG TEN that can be stopped dead in their tracks if we continue our anti-GMO activism. We just need to remember that farmers and gardeners have been supplying food to our families for thousands of years without biotech interference.

Monsanto – This is the biggest seed-mongering company of them all. They make more than $11.8 billion annually and own approximately 27 percent of all seeds currently used in mono-crop, modern agricultural farming. Based on industry statistics, ETC Groupestimates that Monsanto's biotech seeds and traits (including those licensed to other companies) accounted for 87 percent of the total world area devoted to genetically engineered seeds in 2007. Statistics for their current reach are unavailable. Monsanto has spent more than $6 billion lobbying in just the past year. They have lots of money to throw around to convince lawmakers not to label GMOs and to keep pushing them like street-drugs on future generations.

Dupont (Pioneer) – This U.S. based company makes more than $4 billion annually on seed. They own 17 percent of the market on seeds. This company along with 2 other of the Big Ten, Monsanto and Cargill, spent more than $25 million to defeat the GMO labeling bill recently in the U.S. They are one of the largest chemical companies in the world—not farmers, not agricultural experts—chemical engineers.

Syngenta – This Switzerland-based company is also Monsanto’s biggest overseas competitor. They have 9 percent of market share in seeds, but they recently spent more than $15.4 million lobbying to push GMOs. They are the third largest seed-hoarder in the world.

Groupe Limagrain – A French company is currently the fourth largest seed company in the world. They own 5 percent of the market and enjoy over 1.5 billion euro in sales annually. Sadly, this organization started as a farmer co-op, but has clearly been corrupted by the biotech industry.

Land ‘O Lakes – This American based company just reported a huge boost in earnings from August of this year topping out at 3.9 billion in sales for the quarter and net earnings of 76.9 million annually. This is an increase of 12 percent. Their market share is approximately 4 percent.

KWS AG – This German company owns around 3 percent of the market share on agricultural seed and swims in more than $702 million annually.

Bayer Crop Science – Another German company rounds out the bottom of the top ten list with around 2 percent of market share and around $525 million in annual sales.

The last three companies include two from Japan—Sakata and Takii—with less than 2 percent market share and a company from Denmark—DLF-Trifolium—also with less than 2 percent of market share. All three companies enjoy between $4 and $5 million in sales annually.

ETC Group has also issued a report showing the trend of corporate monopolization of all our major industries, aside fro just seed—from water to mining, and energy to forestry.

“. . .the top 10 multinational seed companies now control 73 percent of the world's commercial seed market, up from 37 percent in 1995 (p. 22). The worlds 10 biggest pesticide firms now control a whopping 90 percent of the global 44 billion dollar pesticide market (p.25). 10 companies control 76 percent of animal pharmaceutical sales (p.34). 10 animal feed companies control 52 percent of the global animal feed market (p.33), 10 chemical firms account for 40 percent of the chemical market (p.11), 10 forestry companies control 40 percent of the forestry market (p. 31), 10 mining companies control a third of the mining market (p. 29) and the top ten energy companies control a quarter of the energy market (p.10).”

Breaking up some of these corporate oligarchies might be the only way to stop the complete disregard for our food supply, maintain sovereignty of our water, any conceivable clean energy and our precious environment. The world’s resources have been made commodities when once they were freely enjoyed by us all.

Humankind has not woven the web of life.We are but one thread within it.Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.All things are bound together.All things connect.~ Chief Seattle, Native American Indian, 1854 ~

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