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The Teminator Technology: RAFI-USA Press Release May 26, 2015

Posted by sandyclaus in Copyright and Trademark Enforcement, Food Culture, Futurist.


The claimed source f the “Terminator Gene” name.


Rural Advancement Foundation International – RAFI

Press Release – 27 January 1999



Genetic Seed Sterilization is “Holy Grail”

for Ag Biotechnology Firms


New Patents for “Suicide Seeds” Threaten

Farmers and Food Security Warns RAFI

The Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), a Canadian-based

rural advocacy organization, announced today that it has uncovered over

three dozen new patents describing a wide range of techniques that can be

used for the genetic sterilization of plants and seeds. “The patents reveal

that engineered seed sterility is not an isolated research agenda – it’s

the Holy Grail of the ag biotech industry,” says Pat Mooney of RAFI. The

disclosure follows on the heels of a controversial patent unveiled last

year, christened the “Terminator” by RAFI, that continues to generate

worldwide protest and debate because it renders farm-saved seed sterile –

forcing farmers to return to the commercial seed market every year. The

Terminator patent is jointly owned by the US Department of Agriculture and

a Monsanto subsidiary, Delta & Pine Land Co.

“The notorious Terminator patent is just the tip of the iceberg,” explains

RAFI’s Mooney, “Every major seed and agrochemical enterprise is developing

its own version of suicide seeds,” he adds.

“We’ve uncovered dozens of patents that disclose new and more insidious

techniques for genetic sterilization of plants and seeds – and even

animals,” says Edward Hammond of RAFI. “Novartis, AstraZeneca, and Monsanto

are among the Gene Giants who have sterile seeds in the pipeline, while

others like Pioneer Hi-Bred, Rhone Poulenc, and DuPont have technologies

that could easily be turned into Terminators.” The primary goal of several

of the the newly patented techniques is to sterilize seed so that farmers

cannot save and re-plant seed.

A number of the patents use benign-sounding technical terms such as

“controlled gene expression” linked to “inducible promoters” to describe

their sterilization techniques. Other patents describe “killer genes” that

destroy pollen, or “GRIM proteins” that do the same to invertebrates or

even mammalian cells. A patent owned by Astra/Zeneca candidly admits that

their sterilization processes “are not desirable per se.”

Sterile Seeds: Why Worry? “These technologies are extremely dangerous,”

explains RAFI’s Mooney, “because over 1.4 billion farmers – primarily poor

farmers in Africa, Asia and Latin America – depend on farm-saved seed as

their primary seed source. If they can’t save seed, they can’t continue to

adapt crops to their unique farming environments, and that spells disaster

for global food security.”

via The Teminator Technology: RAFI-USA Press Release.


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