Boy Howdy, Doo(fus)....seems like our old buddies at monsatano are
really getting the act together. You know monsatano, those Profitable
Purveyors of Cnemical Death and Fsked With Seedstock. Whatcha think
of this one, eh?
If folks can't read the writing on the wall, well.......
I think I'll just paste the whole damn good news here. Hmmm, now that
I think about it, didn't Billy report that monsatano bought big into
veggie seed companies? Surely this isn't on the agenda!!
Doo check out all the links and downloadable pdf file.
Monsanto’s Terminator Making a Comeback? Enter the Zombie!
By Barbara H. Peterson
Monsanto and its cohorts in crime promised us that they would not be
using Terminator technology called GURT, or genetic use restricted
technology. In fact, the United Nations actually issued a moratorium
on the project. So we’re safe, right? Wrong.
As usual, the boys in the little white lab coats have not been idle.
In spite of the moratorium, not only are they working heatedly on
Terminator technology, but are getting ready to introduce Zombie
technology. Terminator, and Traitor or Zombie technologies are just
variations of GURT. Whereas Terminator technology produces plants with
sterile seeds, Zombie technology carries this a step further by
creating plants that could require a chemical application to trigger
seed fertility every year. Pay for the chemical or get sterile seed.
This is called reversible transgenic sterility. They have been working
steadily on perfecting this technology, and are now poised to
introduce it to the world as a solution to the current GMO
contamination problem. Move over Terminator, here comes the Zombie.
If a field gets contaminated with seeds containing the Terminator
gene, the resulting plants will have sterile seeds, so the
reproductive cycle ends. If the contamination is from the Zombie gene,
the resulting plants will most likely require a certain pesticide or
will be sterile.
Plants are engineered with sterility as the default condition, but
sterility can be reversed with the application of an external stimulus
that restores the plant’s viability. In order to bring the “zombie”
seed back from the dead, the farmer or breeder must use an external
stimulus (such as a proprietary chemical) to restore the seed’s
fertility. (Terminator the Sequel, 2007 PDF doc)
Either way, if you are a small farmer with a contaminated field, your
seed-saving venture for the following year will be less than
successful. Planting sterile seeds takes the same amount of work as
well as monetary outlay that planting good seeds does, but without the
return on investment. And, you cannot tell the difference between the
good, the bad, and the ugly seeds until it’s too late. That is, if the
patent enforcement brigade doesn’t raid your property first and force
you to destroy your crops and all of your seeds due to patent
infringement. Then you get nothing, and have to pay for the privilege.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that Monsanto announced in 2006, its
takeover of Delta Pine & Land?
This would not be of much consequence, but for the fact that Delta
Pine & Land is a joint owner along with the USDA of US patent #
5,723,765 - GURT technology.
In March 1998 the US Patent Office granted Patent No. 5,723,765 to
Delta Pine & Land for a patent titled, Control of Plant Gene
_Expression. The patent is owned jointly, according to Delta Pine’s
Security & Exchange Commission 10K filing, ‘by DP&L and the United
States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture.’
This makes, as of 2006, Monsanto and the United States of America
(Corp USA), as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture (USDA),
which is currently Tom Vilsack, joint owners of the GURT patent. Kind
of gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling all over, doesn’t it?
Barbara H. Peterson
Read the following article from ETC Group and download the full 28
page report here:
Here is another report on GURT technology from Germany:
Terminator: The Sequel
Despite the fact that governments re-affirmed and strengthened the
United Nations’ moratorium on Terminator technology (a.k.a. genetic
use restriction technology [GURTs]) in March 2006, public and private
sector researchers are developing a new generation of suicide seeds -
using chemically induced “switches” to turn a genetically modified
(GM) plant’s fertility on or off.
Issue: Under the guise of biosafety, the European Union’s 3-year
Transcontainer Project is investing millions of euros in strategies
that cannot promise fail-safe containment of transgenes from GM crops,
but could nonetheless function as Terminator, posing unacceptable
threats to farmers, biodiversity and food sovereignty. Terminator
technology - genetic seed sterilization - was initially developed by
the multinational seed/agrochemical industry and the US government to
maximize seed industry profits by preventing farmers from re-planting
harvested seed. Researchers are also developing new techniques to
excise transgenes from GM plants at a specific time in the plant’s
development, and methods to kill a plant with “conditionally lethal”
genes. This new generation of GURTs will shift the burden of trait
control to the farmer. Under some scenarios, farmers will be obliged
to pay for the privilege of restoring seed fertility every year - a
new form of perpetual monopoly for the seed industry.
Impact: Whether intended or not, new research on molecular containment
of transgenes will ultimately allow the multinational seed industry to
tighten its grasp on proprietary germplasm and restrict the rights of
farmers. Industry and governments are already working to overturn the
existing moratorium on Terminator technology at the UN Convention on
Biological Diversity (CBD). In the months leading up to the CBD’s 9th
Conference of the Parties (Bonn, Germany 19-30 May 2008), industry
will argue that global warming requires urgent introduction of
transgenic crops and trees for biofuels - and that Terminator-type
technologies offer a precautionary, environmental necessity to prevent
transgene flow. Ironically, society is being asked to foot the bill
for a new techno-fix to mitigate the genetic contamination caused by
the biotech industry’s defective GM seeds.
Players: Taxpayer-financed research on biological containment of GM
crops subsidizes the corporate agenda. A handful of multinational seed
corporations control biotech seeds and the proprietary seed market as
a whole has seen unprecedented corporate concentration. In 2006, the
world’s top 4 seed companies - Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Groupe
Limagrain - accounted for half (49%) of the proprietary seed market.
Policy: Governments keep trying to find ways to make GM seeds safe and
acceptable and they keep failing. They should stop trying. There is no
such thing as a safe and acceptable form of Terminator. The EU should
discontinue funding for research on “reversible transgenic sterility,”
and re-assess funding for other research projects undertaken by
Transcontainer. Rather than support research on coexistence to bail
out the agbiotech industry, the EU should instead fund sustainable
agricultural research that benefits farmers and the public. National
governments should propose legislation to prohibit field-testing and
commercial sale of Terminator technologies. Governments meeting at the
9th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological
Diversity in Bonn, Germany must strengthen the moratorium on GURTs by
recommending a ban on the technology.
To read the 28-page report, Download PDF (1 MB) here: