Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The terminator is back, maybe

When Monsanto announced that it was ready to release so-called "terminator" seeds, that is, seeds that grow crops which are sterile and therefore cannot reproduce, the public outcry was so great that it put its plans on hold. There has been a de facto moratorium on creating and using such seeds ever since. But a Canadian group has learned that the Canadian government plans to seek a lifting of this moratorium at an upcoming United Nations meeting.

The problem with such seeds is that they make farmers completely dependent on multinational corporations since the crops don't produce any usable seed. My reading also leads me to conclude that the terminator gene could migrate into wild cousins of commonly grown crops and into non-GMO varieties with unpredictable and possibly catastrophic results. If anyone knows more about the genetic migration problem and where I could find additional information, please leave a comment or contact me by email.

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