Genetically modified plants grown from terminator seedspollinate just like other plants, but the seeds aren'tfertile. The danger is that the terminator gene will spreadto healthy plants, until all plants in a given species ceaseto reproduce. Monsanto claims this can't happen?but theyalso claimed that seeds from their GM plants would notcontaminate nearby fields of organic crops, and this hashappened all over the world. Now confidential documentleaked from within the United Nations reveals that at ameeting in Bangkok on February 7-11, theCanadian government agreed to attempt to overturn aninternational moratorium on Terminator seeds, despite thefact that they are plaguing Canadian farmers.
ETC director Pat Mooney says, "Canada is about to launch adevastating kick in the stomach to the world's mostvulnerable farmers?the 1.4 billion people who depend onsaved seed." At least most Canadian farmers can afford tobuy new seed every year. Terminator seeds have had adevastating effect on farmers in poor countries, such asIndia, where they've led to waves of suicides among farmerswho have realized that they can't save seed from one cropand replant it.
Terminator technology was first developed to stop farmersfrom re-planting saved seed, so that they need to buy newgenetically modified seed yearly. This assures that Monsantowill receive payment for the use of the plants it hasdeveloped for as long as they are planted. When the seedswere first brought out in 1998, there was so much publicopposition that Monsanto abandoned the "suicide seeds" andpromised the United Nations that it would not to continue todevelop them. But now that a major Western government likeCanada plans to lift its ban on the seeds, Monsanto islikely to feel free to sell these seeds once again?and notjust in Canada. They will end up being planted by farmers inpoor countries who will not realize what has happened untilit's too late, when the seeds they've counted on to replanttheir crops will not sprout, leading to a season of barrenfields and starvation.
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