Saturday, December 14, 2013
Terminator Seeds Must NOT Be Approved In Brazil
Unease among Brazil's farmers as Congress votes on GM terminator seeds
Brazil is set to break a global moratorium on genetically-modified "terminator" seeds, which are said to threaten the livelihoods of millions of small farmers around the world.
The sterile or "suicide" seeds are produced by means of genetic use restriction technology, which makes crops die off after one harvest without producing offspring. As a result, farmers have to buy new seeds for each planting, which reduces their self-sufficiency and makes them dependent on major seed and chemical companies.
Environmentalists fear that any such move by Brazil – one of the biggest agricultural producers on the planet – could produce a domino effect that would result in the worldwide adoption of the controversial technology.
Major seed and chemical companies, which together own more than 60% of the global seed market, all have patents on terminator seed technologies. However, in the 1990s they agreed not to employ the technique after a global outcry by small farmers, indigenous groups and civil society groups.
In 2000, 193 countries signed up to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which recommended a de facto moratorium on this technology.
The moratorium is under growing pressure in Brazil, where powerful landowning groups have been pushing Congress to allow the technology to be used for the controlled propogation of certain plants used for medicines and eucalyptus trees, which provide pulp for paper mills.
The landowning groups want to plant large areas with fast growing GM trees and other non-food GM crops that could theoretically spread seeds over wide areas. The technology, they argue, would be a safeguard, ensuring that no second generation pollution of GM traits takes place. They insist that terminator seeds would only be used for non-food crops.
Their efforts to force a bill to this effect through Congress, ongoing since 2007, have been slowed due to resistance from environmentalists.
The proposed measure has been approved by the legislature's agricultural commission, rejected by the environmental commission, and now sits in the justice and citizenship commission. It is likely to go to a full Congressional vote, where it could be passed as early as next Tuesday, or soon after the Christmas recess.
Environment groups say there would be global consequences. "Brazil is the frontline. If the agro-industry breaks the moratorium here, they'll break it everywhere," said Maria José Guazzelli, of Centro Ecológico, which represents a coalition of Brazilian NGOs.
This week they presented a protest letter signed by 34,000 people to thwart the latest effort to move the proposed legislation forward. "If this bill goes through, it would be a disaster. Farmers would no longer be able to produce their own seeds. That's the ultimate aim of the agro-industry," she said.
The international technology watchdog ETC, which was among the earliest proponents of a ban on terminator technology in the 1990s, fears this is part of a strategy to crack the international consensus.
"If the bill is passed, [we expect] the Brazilian government to take a series of steps that will orchestrate the collapse of the 193-country consensus moratorium when the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meets for its biennial conference in Korea in October 2014," said executive director Pat Mooney.
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I can only speak from my heart as a human being who loves life and from my reason as someone who understands the symbiosis of science with nature to state this:
TERMINATOR SEEDS ARE AN ABOMINATION to both the natural and scientific world. They support death, darkness, evil. They portend a future of poverty, famine and control of all life which will give way to seeds that do not work with nature but destroy it.
I WEEP for the future of this planet and all species if these companies are allowed continued unfettered access to all that is sacred in our world. All that is beautiful. All that is alive.
To Brazil: You simply cannot allow this to happen. The very biodiversity and life of this planet is at stake. PLEASE reconsider this insanity. Do not give into the baser instinct of greed over the true logic, reason and ethics of principled science and the sacredness and beauty of life!
Terminator Seeds- The Death And Destruction Of Agriculture
WHY?! How evil do you have to be TO KILL A SEED? When fleeting monetary profit becomes more important than preserving LIFE you know you have descended into madness. This is madness.