27 October 2009

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Know about the Terminator Gene

Know about the Terminator Gene
Our one of the friend M, has said in his comment on my post http://realityviews.blogspot.com/2009/10/know-about-genetically-modified-gm-food.html
Some excellent information, but some of your facts are incorrect. For example, "GM crops are genetically manipulated so that they die after one season and cannot reproduce." Not so.
Please keep up the good work, Thanks,
After reading this comment, I thought it is necessary to clarify and update the post.
So let us understand what the Terminator Gene is ?

The technology was discussed during the 8th Conference of the Parties to the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity in Curitiba, Brazil, March 20-31, 2006.
Genetic use restriction technology (GURT), known as terminator technology, is the name given to proposed methods for restricting the use of genetically modified plants by causing second generation seeds to be sterile.
The technology was developed under a cooperative research and development agreement between the Agricultural Research Service of the USDA and Delta and Pine Land Company in the 1990s, but it is not yet commercially available.
Because some stakeholders expressed concerns that this technology might lead to dependence for poor smallholder farmers, Monsanto Company, an agricultural products company and the world's biggest seed supplier, pledged not to commercialize the technology in 1999.
Late in 2006, it acquired Delta and Pine Land Company.
There are two types of GURT.

What is the V-GURT Technology?
This type of GURT produces sterile seeds meaning that a farmer that had purchased seeds containing v-GURT technology could not save the seed from this crop for future planting.
The technology is restricted at the plant variety level - hence the term V-GURT. Manufacturers of genetically enhanced crops would use this technology to protect their products from unauthorized use.

What is T-GURT technology?
This type of GURT modifies a crop in such a way that the genetic enhancement engineered into the crop does not function until the crop plant is treated with a chemical that is sold by the biotechnology company.

Initially developed by the US Department of Agriculture and multinational seed companies, “suicide seeds” have not been commercialized anywhere in the world due to an avalanche of opposition from farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society, and some governments
In 2000, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity recommended a de facto moratorium on field-testing and commercial sale of Terminator seeds; the moratorium was re-affirmed in 2006. India and Brazil have already passed national laws to prohibit the technology.

The technology is present there, and there is no guarantee that tomorrow when conditions will be favorable these companies will not use the terminator seeds.
We have seen how the Gm- cottonseeds were illegally grown in the state of Gujarat.
Everything is possible in this world, for money, even a leader can sell his country, or a girl can be sold. So we should not believe in any one, technology is there, and they will use it when the conditions will be in their favour.

So after reading this you can understand that the seeds die after one use, if farmer saves the seeds then also he has to purchase the activator which activate the seeds which farmer has saved.
Time line history of this technology –
1. 1994 and after: Biotech Companies Obtain Patents on Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURT)
2. March 3, 1998: Patent on Terminator Seeds Granted
3. (Between March 4, 1998 and March 30, 1998): USDA Is Strong Supporter of Terminator Technology
4. May 11, 1998: Monsanto Announces Intent to Purchase Delta & Pine Land Company
5. Summer 1998): Former Chair of FAO Council Speaks Out Against Terminator Seeds
6. June 12, 1998: Delta and Pine Land Executive: Poor Farmers ‘Locked’ in Cycle of Saving Obsolete Seed Varieties
7. September 14, 1998: Clinton Administration Clamps Down on Scientists’ Research into Terminator Technology
8. Before October 10, 1998: Indian Government Bans Terminator Seeds
9. October 30, 1998: International Research Network Condemns Terminator Technology
10. December 2, 1998: Indian Government Summarizes Threat Posed by Terminator Seeds
11. January 1999: Dozens of Biotech Companies Developing Terminator Technologies
12. July 20, 1999: USDA and Delta & Pine Land Secure New Patent for Improvements in Terminator Genetic Seed Sterilization Technology\
13. January 10, 2003: UPOV Concludes that Terminator Technology Could Be Bad for Farmers
14. Before February 7, 2005: Canadian Government Will Propose Lifting of De Facto Ban on Terminator Seeds

Like this currently majority nations are against this technology, but this is time being, as currently even nations are against GM food once they are accepted ,after that in few years this technology will also become legal and good.

You can read more about GURT or terminator technology from the following sites.
Below is the link supporting International Seed Federation: Position Paper Supporting GURT development


Anonymous,  October 27, 2009  

very interesting indeed!

good pick!

sm,  October 27, 2009  


Neha October 27, 2009  

oh I didn't know anything about this...thank u for the information :)

Dhiman October 27, 2009  

Both the posts were very informative ... recently one of the Green Peace activist was talking against the GM food but I was not clear your post is certainly helpful in getting more insight into the issue....

Kavita Saharia October 27, 2009  

SM..this post is very informative and well researched,a lot of hard work and effort on your part.I had no idea about GURT till few minutes back..thanks for sharing this.

sm,  October 27, 2009  


sm,  October 27, 2009  


sm,  October 27, 2009  


Hemant,  November 27, 2009  

thank u for the information