SAGE Press Release: Farmers celebrate victory over the Terminator Three at CBD in Brazil Print E-mail


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Press Release [For publication]

Terminator terminated

Victory for global campaign by civil society movements

Millions of farmers in this country and elsewhere in the world are today celebrating their victory in persuading the world governments to reject the dreaded Terminator seeds and continue the global moratorium against it indefinitely.

For South Against Genetic Engineering, [a coalition of farmer movements, civil society groups, academicians, scientists and consumer movements from the South Indian states of AP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra] this comes as a great victory for its relentless effort in collecting half a million signatures, lobbying with the Indian trade negotiators and the Government of India to firmly oppose the efforts by the Terminator Three as they are named: Canada, Australia and New Zealand backed covertly by the USA and its agro chemical multinational corporations such as Delta Pineland, Monsanto etc.

News has come from Brazil that the COP 8 [Conference of Parties] of the Convention on Biological Diversity took a historic decision to continue the global moratorium on Terminator Technology. Many international groups had made a sustained campaign against the revived efforts by the powerful of the world to bring back terminator seeds into the arena of world agriculture and establish a hegemony over it.

Terminators 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 .......

At the CBD Australia, Canada and New Zealand along with the US government (not a party to the CBD) and a number of biotech companies were leading attempts to open the door to field testing of Terminator seeds by insisting on a ˜case by case" assessment of such technologies. This text was unanimously rejected today in the CBD's working group dealing with the issue. It still needs to be formally adopted by the plenary of the CBD.

This genuine victory for civil society around the world will go a long way in ensuring that biodiversity, food and livelihood security of billions of farmers globally.

Most campaigners in the CBD demanded a total ban on Terminator technology once and for all and emulate the governments of India and Brazil which have already enacted such a ban.

[p v satheesh]