April 04, 2002

Ban Terminator before it's too late

A UNITED NATIONS conference in the Hague next week (April 02) offers the UN a critical opportunity to ban 'Terminator' seeds before they are commercialised in farmers' fields, warns an alliance of campaign groups.

The ETC group, Berne Declaration and ActionAid are among many groups urging delegates at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 'COP6' conference to heed global opinion and ban the commercialisation of crops modified to produce sterile seeds - known as 'suicide seeds' or 'Terminator technology'.

The alliance warns CBD delegates that seed giants such as Delta & Pine Land intend to commercialise terminator crops and that the world's largest agrochemical and seed corporations continue to work on and win patents on terminator technology and closely related techniques to chemically control plant fertility and/or seed germination.

Terminator plants are modified to prevent farmers from re-using harvested seed, forcing farmers to buy new seeds from multinationals every year. This is seen as immoral because over 1.4 billion people, mainly poor farmers in poor countries, depend on farm-saved seeds.


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