A new and serious threat for developing world farmers is on the horizon thanks to biotechnology designed to protect the profits of global seed companies. The Tablet reports that ‘terminator technology’ – the genetic modification of plants to produce sterile seeds at harvest – is being researched in the USA and, with European Union money, in Europe. The aim is to protect the seed companies’ property rights over crop varieties. But it could decimate the livelihoods of 1.4 billion small-scale farmers who rely on saving, sharing and replanting seeds for a living. The technology has not yet been field-tested and currently faces a UN moratorium although governments such as New Zealand and Canada have already tried to overturn the ban. A campaign against ‘terminator seeds‘ by development agency Progressio has been backed by the World Council of Churches since 2005.
Source: The Tablet (13/10)