- It's official now. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
announced last week that it has concluded negotiations to license the notorious
Terminator' technology to its seed industry partner, Delta & Pine Land
(D&PL). As a result of joint research, the USDA and D&PL are co-owners
of three patents on the controversial technology, that genetically modifies
plants to produce sterile seeds, preventing farmers from re-using harvested
seed. A licensing agreement establishes the terms and conditions under
which a party can use a patented technology.
- Although many of the gene-giants hold patents on Terminator
technology, D&PL is the only company that has publicly declared its
intention to commercialise Terminator seeds. "USDA's decision to license
Terminator flies in the face of international public opinion and betrays
the public trust," said Ms Hope Shand, research-director of an international
organisation dedicated to sustainable use of bio-diversity - RAFI. "Terminator
technology has been universally condemned by civil society; banned by international
agricultural research institutes, censured by United Nation bodies, even
shunned by Monsanto, and yet the US Government has officially sanctioned
commercialisation of the technology by licensing it to one of the world's
largest seed companies," explains Ms Shand. "USDA's role in developing
Terminator seeds is a disgraceful example of corporate welfare, involving
a technology that is bad for farmers, dangerous for the environment and
disastrous for world food security," adds Ms Silvia Ribeiro of RAFI.
- Terminator has been universally opposed as an immoral
technology because over 1.4 billion people, primarily poor farmers, depend
on farm-saved seeds as their primary seed source. Mr Michael Schechtman,
executive-secretary to USDA's Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology,
made the official announcement regarding the licensing of Terminator at
the Committee's August 1 meeting.
- The 38-member Advisory Committee, established during
the Clinton administration, was created to advise the Secretary of Agriculture
on issues related to growing public controversy over GM technology. Although
many members of the Biotech Advisory Committee urged the USDA to abandon
its patents and forsake all further research on genetic seed sterilisation,
the USDA steadfastly declined. The official statement by USDA states that
the Agency "had a legal obligation" to license the technology
- In a lackluster attempt to quell its critics, the USDA
pledged to negotiate licensing restrictions on how the Terminator technology
could be deployed by Delta & Pine Land. "In the end, the restrictions
negotiated by USDA are meaningless," concludes Mr Michael Sligh, RAFI-USA's
director of 'Sustainable Agriculture', and member of the Biotech Advisory
Committee. According to Mr Sligh, "USDA's promotion of Terminator
technology puts private profits above public good and the rights of farmers
everywhere." Mr Sligh spearheaded efforts amongst Advisory Board members
who urged the USDA to abandon Terminator. USDA places the following conditions
on D&PL's deployment of Terminator:
- 1) The licensed Terminator technology will not be used
in any heirloom varieties of garden flowers and vegetables and it will
not be used in any variety of plant available in the market- place before
January 1, 2003.
- 2) USDA scientists will be involved in safety testing
of new varieties incorporating the GM trait for seed sterility, and a full
and public process of safety evaluation must be completed prior to regulatory
sign-off by USDA.
- 3) All royalties accruing to USDA from the use of Terminator
will be earmarked to technology transfer efforts for USDA's Agricultural
Research Service innovations that will be made widely available to the
- USDA concludes that Terminator "is a valuable technology".
Ironically, the agency promotes Terminator as a "green" technology
that will prevent gene flow from transgenic plants. "We reject the
notion that Terminator is a biosafety bandage for GM crops with leaky genes,
but even if it were biosafety, at the expense of food security is unacceptable,"
concludes RAFI's Ms Silvia Ribeiro.
- Last year the FAO's panel of eminent experts on Ethics
in Food and Agriculture concluded that Terminator seeds are unethical.
When heads of state meet at FAO's World Food Summit five years later in
Rome, 9-15 November, they will have the opportunity to re-affirm that finding,
and recommend that member nations ban the technology. In keeping with its
image as a rogue, isolationist state in international treaty negotiations
on global warming and biological weapons, the US also appears to stand
alone on Terminator.
- Delta & Pine Land, USA is the world's 9th largest
seed corporation, with revenues of $301 million in 2000. The company has
joint ventures and/or subsidiaries in North America, Brazil, Argentina,
China, Mexico, Paraguay, South Africa, Australia, and China.
- NWO Link To USDA Approving Monsanto's Terminator Seed
- From Calvin Howard firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dear Jeff,
- I don't know if you are aware, but Delta & Pine Land
Corporation is a 28,000 acre experimental farm owned by the Queen of England
(Elizabeth Hanover aka Windsor). It lies approx 10 miles north of Greenville,
Mississippi on the most fertile black earth farm in America.
- Back in the '60's the land was secretly bought up by
several different schills under many different names, paying higher than
normal prices to local farmers, and then after all the purchases were
made the contiguous piece of land became one gigantic farm.
- According to records, it is the largest single crop-gowing
farm in the U.S. Smells a bit fishy that the USDA is approving seeds from
this foreign owned agri-corporation. A little more of the NWO don't you
think? Thought you'd like to know