This is a story that I have been following for years, although I’ve never once written about it. Terminator seed technology is an insidious plan to control the world’s food supply. Keeping people starving and hungry makes it so much easier to exploit them and the resources that they own.
Terminators, or GURTS (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies), are a class of genetic engineering technologies which allow companies to introduce seeds whose sterile offspring cannot reproduce, preventing farmers from re-planting seeds from their harvest. The seeds could also be used to introduce specific traits which would only be triggered by the application of proprietary chemicals by the same companies.
The seeds are genetically engineered to produce only infertile seeds which farmers cannot replant. The Terminator seed was developed ostensiously to protect the big corporations patented technology of genetically modified plant seeds.
The patent is broad applying to plants and seeds of all species including both transgenic (genetically engineered) and conventionally-bred seeds.
Without the ability to replant crops from last year’s saved seeds, farmers are forced to buy seeds from the corporations that control this monstrosity. If you can control a nations seed supply, you can control the nations food supply. The goal is to become the source of life itself, where “more than a billion farm families are at risk”, are forced to buy both seeds and petrochemicals from giant corporations – or starve.
Except it’s more then a billion farm families – it’s also the families that depend upon these farmers for their locally grown produce and grain to feed themselves and their livestock.
An elaborate shell game is being played out by the corporations behind this, who facing a world wide storm of protest, are trying to assuage our justified fears that they are demanding too much:
“The announcement recently by Monsanto, the giant American chemical company, that it will disavow use of the ‘terminator’ seed sterility technology is a welcome step toward assuaging some of these concerns, particularly in developing countries. Terminator technology prevents plants from producing fertile seeds, forcing farmers to buy more seed from a multinational corporation rather than using seed from the previous year’s crop.”
???Gordon Conway, “World is better served by the fruits of biotech seeds,” The Houston Chronicle, October 25, 1999
In a major victory for activists and protestors around the world, Monsanto, a major investor in this technology has decided not to market it. However, it will still look into sterility research, which, as the Guardian newspaper points out, could mean that Monsanto’s announcement just a public relations exercise and that they are waiting until the current attention on the negativity surrounding terminator technology has reduced.
We didn’t have to wait long. The Terminator is back and this time with government backing:
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. February 9, 2005
It didn’t die a well-deserved death in 1999, just changed it’s spots, now getting official government backing. But the real source of the technology is right from the US government:
USDA molecular biologist Melvin J. Oliver, the primary inventor of the technology, explained why the US developed a technology that prohibits farmers from saving seeds: “Our mission is to protect US agriculture and to make us competitive in the face of foreign competition. Without this, there is no way of protecting the patented seed technology.”
The Terminator is “good for business”. The never ending quest to gain the advantage over other nations is exemplified in this attempt to control a nations food supply. “With the patent announcement, the world’s two most critical food crops – rice and wheat, staple crops for three-quarters of the world’s poor – potentially enter the realm of private monopoly.”
Some genetic engineering companies, such as Monsanto spend large amounts on public relations to extort the facts. Monsanto brought us NutraSweet (aspartame is a poison used to kill rats). They also created Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used in Vietnam to defoliate entire rainforest ecosystems.
Monsanto is primarily a chemical and pesticide company. It is getting bigger as they buy up various biotech firms and is also one of the largest biotechnology companies in the world. They also exert a huge amount of influence in Washington D.C. which prevents any large-scale meaningful debate. So while they present themselves as a “life science” or biotechnology firm, they are really a chemical firm.
Even though there have been world wide protests over this technology, the corporations are adamant about making it’s use mandatory. Can it it be only profits that they are after? I doubt it very much.# Their attempt to market its genetically engineered products as organic in the United States came under criticism and was fought back — for now.
# But that did not stop them trying it in India, using an Indian seed company that they bought in order to use the term “Organic” as a Trojan Horse to enter the huge Indian market, amidst huge protest.
# In Europe, they launched an advertising campaign attempting to promote the use of genetically engineered crops and this has led to African scientists expressing their concern as well.
# They are also accused of creating products that will withstand more pesticide use and therefore allow more sales of their pesticide products. (Note, as mentioned above, they are largely a chemical and pesticide company.) Genetically engineered Roundup Ready Soybeans, for example, are engineered to be more resistant to its Roundup weed killer. That weed killer also kills many beneficial “weeds” and insects. This doesn’t have much to do with increasing yields as studies have shown but more about increased sales. The following quote reveals a lot:
“Many of you have heard of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. And it’s very effective at killing weeds — so effective, in fact, that Roundup would control soybeans as well as weeds if it should come into contact as both. … [Until that is,] Monsanto developed Roundup Ready Soybeans … [that] express a novel protein that allows them to survive, even when sprayed with enough Roundup to control competing weeds.” — from the International Association of Plant Breeders, quoted by Vanadana Shiva, Stolen Harvest (South End Press, 2000), p.98
Monsanto would like for you to believe that it’s interest are purely financial and that “Monsanto has asked us to point out that the company has never held a patent on the sterilised seeds referred to in our report headlined Canada backs terminator seeds”. Maybe so, but in May 1999, “Monsanto announced it would acquire Delta & Pine Land Company for $1.8 billion. This means that seed-sterilizing technology is now in the hands of the world’s third-largest seed corporation and second largest agrochemical corporation.”
Yet this effort reportedly failed: “Although Monsanto tried to acquire Delta & Pine Land in 1999, the takeover bid collapsed, in large part due to public controversy over Terminator.” However, this article states that Monsanto, among others, does hold patents:
Delta & Pine Land and the US Department of Agriculture; Syngenta, DuPont, Monsanto, BASF, and Purdue, Iowa State and Cornell universities. (For details, see chart, p. 7).
Not to be outclassed by the mere people whom they “serve”, the “Gene Giants” pressed onward, now targeting governments (who are extremely susceptible to bribes and kickbacks):
While claiming not to have reversed their position against commercialization of Terminator seeds, some Gene Giants are continuing to seek new patents on genetic seed sterilization and others are boldly advocating in favor of GURTs (genetic use restriction technology) in intergovernmental negotiations.
The risk to the world’s 1 billion small farmers and the families they support is enormous. Terminator seeds can represent starvation conditions for hundreds of millions, billions of people. Why? Because they risk accidentally sowing the modified terminator seeds with their yearly planting. Poor farmers often buy seeds destined for consumption and plant them. Without access to the chemicals designed to produce proper yields for these seeds, the harvests will be smaller (or non-existent). And the seeds to plant for the next harvest won’t even exist. The ongoing yield loss represents starvation for billions.
I have to ask myself, why would multi-billion dollar corporations really want to control the world’s food supply? Is it only about making even more money? With all of the opportunities available for billion dollar corporations to make profits, why pick on this one?
If you already control most of the world’s resource, what left? People. Economic manipulation of people through essential resource control. What can be more essential then food? Water of course, but besides that? Food control, of course. If they could patent the air that we breathe, they would. I’m suprised they haven’t put a patent on the oxygen produced by corporate owned trees yet.
What’s really at work here is the Hegellian Dialect (again), now found everywhere. The manufactured problem is the pereceived property rights of the seed stocks owned by the Gene Giants. Poor farmers are able to replant saved seeds from the present harvest for the next harvest and the giants are complaining that “they” own the resulting plants.
But the Dialect isn’t ever so obvious as that, there is another reason that the worlds food supply must now fall under the total control of the multi-nationals. Critical resources consumed by billions of people have taxed the carrying capacity of the planet. The real goal is to force people to buy sees (food) from the Gene Giants – who are also petro-chemical giants. The seeds require the application of their chemicals to germinate properly. They will quite literally be able to control the outcome of entire nations by doing so.
Starving nations is nothing new, particularly for the United States, which as starved Cuba, Russia, Iraq, North Korea and other nations under “economic sanctions” specifically designed to withhold food, medicine and other goods. The death toll by such measures is nearly incaculable. While the targets of such measures are meant (allegedly) to be the political landscape and governments of such countries, the real people hurt are people just like you and me, families, individuals, women, children. Malnourished and unmedicated for needed essentials, millions have died as a result.
Sanctions such as this are population control measures. They don’t work well as anything else. Cuba thumbed it’s nose at the US and has reverted back to a sustainable agricultural lifestyle after losing it’s food shipments from Russia. They were quite successful too. Harpers Magazine had a great article on how they pulled this off.
But the US is not happy about the one-upmanship by one of it’s closest foreign neighbors. Nor are the multi-nationals who believe that they have the right to control what people eat, who eats and how much. Of course there will be people who refuse to pay the Gene Giants, but there have already been a number of cases prosecuted sucessfully against farmers that do this. The end result is obvious – it is a prosecutable crime to grow your own food if by chance, you happen to plant genetically modified seeds.
Non-hybrid seeds are the local solution to this problem, bypassing the multi-nationals altogether (for now). However, the world wide use of non-hybrid seeds would negate the mega-farms in current production today. Additionaly, severely depleted soils are only usuable for massive farming practices by applying hundreds of millions of tons of petro-chemicals. The Gene Giants know this and are perfectly positioned (of course) to take advantage of this dependency.
The Terminator seeds are most definitely the Gene Giants wet dream for planetary control of human populations. There are a lot of technologies like this being falsely labeled as the “salvation” of mankind to cure our multiple self-induced ills. Not one of them are really intended to “help” us, only control us, regulate us, manage us and track us. They are all insidiously evil at the very core and will only benefit our controllers. Our only recourse is total resistance.