This was forwarded to me by my activist buddy Chris. Mandatory readying.
Canada Backs Terminator Seeds
By John Vidal
The Guardian U.K.
Wednesday 09 February 2005
An international moratorium on the use of one of the world’s most controversial GM food technologies may be broken today if the Canadian government gets seed sterilization backed at a UN meeting.
Leaked documents seen by the Guardian show that Canada wants all governments to accept the testing and commercialisation of “terminator” crop varieties. These are genetically engineered to produce only infertile seeds which farmers cannot replant.
Jointly patented by the GM company Monsanto and the US government, the technology was condemned in the late 1990s by many African and Asian governments who called for a permanent ban.
Monsanto and other GM companies which were developing similar technologies voluntarily pulled out of research after concerns were also raised about the “terminator” genes spreading to non-GM crops, and international outrage that poor farmers would not be able to use seeds from their crops, as they have always done.
But leaked instructions to Canadian government negotiators at the Bangkok meeting of the Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, a group which advises the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity, show that Canada will request today that all countries open their doors to the technology.
The papers, leaked to the environment group ETC, also show that the Canadian government will attack an official UN report critical of the potential impact of “terminator” seeds on small farmers and indigenous peoples. The report recommends that governments prohibit the technology.
The Canadian government team in Bangkok was last night unavailable for comment.