I’ve noticed some discussion online lately about seedless watermelons and claims that they are “genetically modified,” which somehow makes them a black sheep in the world of produce. I’d like to take this time to set the record straight and restore dignity and honor to the great seedless watermelon by making this declaration:

Seedless watermelons are NOT genetically modified. They are hybrid watermelons that have been grown in the United States for more than 50 years and are safe and delicious in every way!


Allow me to explain. Actually, I’ll let the National Watermelon Promotion Board explain, because they do a good job of it on their website. Here’s what they have to say:

“A seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. This is similar to the mule, produced by naturally crossing a horse with a donkey. This process does not involve genetic modification.”

So there you have it. Seedless watermelons are just regular watermelons, albeit a relatively younger relative of the traditional seeded watermelon. Despite being the new kid on the block, the seedless watermelon actually outsells its seeded peers by a significant margin. According to the National Watermelon Promotion Board, only 16 percent of watermelon sold in grocery stores has seeds. In 2003, that number was 43 percent.

Oh sure, sometimes I miss those little black seeds, but it’s mainly for nostalgic reasons. Sort of the way I miss shopping for new clothes before the start of a new school year. Does it mean I want to spend an entire Saturday in the mall with my mother telling me I’ll “grow into” the five pairs of pants we just spent three hours trying on? Not a chance.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a wedge of watermelon in the fridge with my name on it. Seedless, of course… and my pants fit me just fine.


  1. Henry Pospisil says:

    I love watermelon with seeds. This year we bought four of them, after over 10 . years of nothing. We don’t eat nothing seedless. Why we don’t have choice??????? One note about wotermelons. They should be eaten by them selves. Not with other food

  2. Eric Hopkins says:

    I am Definitely of the Seeded watermelon school…nothin’ quite like a good old -fashioned red watermelon with black seeds…drippin’ with sweet pink watermelon juice…
    No one has mentioned the Real reason for Seeded Watermelons…Watermelon -spittin’ contests…
    where has good old American completion gone?

  3. Eric Hopkins says:

    that last comment should have said: “competition”( not Completion…)

  4. rezzy says:

    Only thing you miss out on with seedless is the traditional seed spitting contest with everyone else eating it

  5. Candice says:

    I don’t think I have had a good watermelon in over a decade. I am going to grow my own next year. My theory is that this is because they are all seedless now. Seeds provide fat, and fat tastes good!

  6. Rod says:

    I recently had an old fashion watermelon with dark seeds and what a glorious difference in taste. I’ve been eating the tasteless seedless ones for so long I’d forgotten just how sweet and intense the flavor of the old variety was. Give me seeds all day long.

  7. Jsmes says:

    Every seedless watermelons I have eaten still have the little white seeds. Is that normal?

  8. The Watermelon Guy says:

    The little white seeds are absolutely 100% okay to eat! They are white because they are still growing; fully-matured seeds appear black like the ones you see on this page!

  9. LLaa says:

    Yes they are not GMOs but they are produced using strong chemcials which are approved by Organic farming practices. The chemical, colchicine, binds to tubulin and disrupts microtubular network leading to altered cell morphology, decreased cellular motility, arrest of mitosis, and interrupted cardiac myocyte conduction and contractility and eventually MULTI-ORGAN DYSFUNCTION AND FAILURE! It has also been shown to cause sterility in humans and is excreted into breast milk!

    Just because it’s not GMO doesn’t mean it’s safe! Organic is evil too ~~! By contrast, not a single person has ever died from GMOs.

    Reference: Colchicine poisoning: the dark side of an ancient drug by finkelstein et al. 2010 and published in Clinical Toxicology

  10. OD says:

    The article stares that seedless watermelon out sell seeded. Of course it does we can’t find a local grocery store that carries a good old fashioned seeded watermelon. We long for a tasty watermelon. Seeded melon seem to have a richer darker sweeter fruit.

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