Delta & Pine Land, the maverick seed company that vows to commercialize the notorious Terminator technology, is in trouble. Delta & Pine Land announced (2001) that its president is quitting, the company will eliminate 7 percent of its work force and they are shutting down a facility in Arizona.
The Mississippi-based cotton seed company, the 9th largest seed business in the world, is the only company to publicly announce its intention to commercialize Terminator seeds - a technology that genetically modifies plants to produce sterile seeds, forcing farmers to return to the commercial seed market every year. The USDA and Delta & Pine Land jointly own three patents on genetic seed sterilization. On August 1 2001 the US Department of Agriculture announced that it had concluded negotiations to license the Terminator technology to Delta & Pine Land. (See RAFI News Release, 'USDA Says Yes to Terminator,' 3 August 2001,)
Will financial hard times put Delta & Pine Land (D&PL) on the auction block? Which Gene Giant will risk acquiring Terminator technology next? Is Terminator an asset or a liability?