New Calls from Peasants and Small Scale Farmers to Ban Terminator

Ban Terminator News, December 2005

New Calls from Peasants and Small Scale Farmers to Ban Terminator

Take action in your community to endorse the campaign and add your statements against Terminator to these new resolutions from farmers and seed savers in Europe, Canada and South Africa:

1) European Seeds Seminar Calls for a Ban on Terminator, November 26

2) Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (Canada) Resolution to Endorse Global Campaign to Ban Terminator Technology, November 26

3) German Family Farmers Association, Living seeds instead of dead harvest - Stop Terminator Seeds, November 27

4) KwaNgwanase Farmers Organisation and Phadima Farmers Association, South Africa, Objections and Comments on Terminator Technology Gene, December 2

1) European Seeds Seminar Calls for a Ban on Terminator "Let's Liberate Diversity" Poitiers, France, 25th and 26th November 2005

Resolution to Call for a Ban on Terminator Technology because of its European and Global Impacts on Farmers, Food Sovereignty and the Environment

Participants at the European Seeds Seminar, who came from 15 European countries and 21 countries in other continents (1), meeting in Poitiers, France on 26th November 2005 supported the international campaign to Ban Terminator technology – its development, testing and commercialisation (2).

Terminator, a technology requiring multiple genetic modifications, will stop farmers from being able to save and reuse seed. It is designed to prevent farm-saved seed from germinating so that farmers have to buy new seeds each season. It has been developed to increase corporate control over seeds by the biotech companies. Terminator directly infringes Farmers’ Rights, undermines food sovereignty and presents a threat to farmers’ livelihoods and agricultural biodiversity.

The participants at the seminar:

- Opposed the use of Terminator or any other GURTs (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies) that would prevent farmers from saving and re-using seeds;

- Called on the European Patent Office to revoke the patent on Terminator technology granted to Delta & Pine Land and United States Department of Agriculture on 5th October 2005 (3);

- Rejected the false claim that Terminator technology could permit co- existence of conventional and GM crops – it cannot be a biosafety tool;

- Criticised the investment in research on Terminator technology which diverts funds and effort from agriculturally useful investigation;

- Called on peasants and rural peoples to actively expose and oppose Terminator technology and GM crops and intensify the struggle against imperialist globalisation and the agrochemical transnational corporations; and

- Called on their governments to: Ban Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTs) and Terminator, and Defend the existing de facto moratorium on the development, testing and commercialisation of Terminator technology, in upcoming meetings of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in March 2006.

(1) At the seminar there were about 140 participants from national and international farmers’ organisations, NGOs, agricultural research organisations and national, regional and international civil society networks concerned with seeds, agricultural biodiversity, food and farming.

(2) See //www.banterminator.org

(3) The Terminator patent, EP 0 775 212 B1, was granted by the European Patent Office on 5th October 2005 to US-based Delta & Pine Land (D&PL Technology Holding Company LLC ) and the United States of America, represented by the Secretary of Agriculture. According to further data bank research the patent was already granted in similar versions in the USA, further applications were filed in Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Turkey and South Africa. A patent was also granted in Canada on October 11 2005.

Adopted at 16:15 on 26th November 2005, by unanimous vote in the final Plenary.

2) Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFA0)

Resolution to Endorse Global Campaign to Ban Terminator Technology. Passed November 26, 2005, Dixon’s Corners.

Whereas ecological farmers attempt to work with nature by using practices like encouraging biodiversity and,

Whereas ecological farmers often rely on on-farm resources like farm saved seed and,

Whereas past technologies offered to farmers like technology use agreements for GMOs, pesticides and chemical fertilizers perpetuate an agricultural model far removed from nature and damaging to the environment and,

Whereas Terminator technology or GURTs (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies) refers to plants that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds at harvest and,

Whereas Terminator technology goes against the practice of farming with nature and gives seed multinationals increased control over farmers and,

Whereas the EFAO GMO policy includes a request to "Ban agreements and technology (e.g. Terminator type genes), which restrict farmers’ right to save, trade and reuse seeds."

Therefore be it resolved that the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario endorse the global campaign to ask all national governments, including Canada, and international bodies to ban terminator in order to ensure that the technology is never field tested or commercialized,

Be it further resolved that EFAO make its position known to the Canadian government and the general public.

Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFA0) 5420 Hwy 6 N. R.R. 5 Guelph ON N1H 6J2 (519) 822-8606

Accompanying Press Release December 8, 2005 Ecological Farmers Ask Canadian Government to Ban ‘Suicide Seeds’

At its recent Annual General Meeting the membership of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario (EFAO), passed a motion endorsing the global campaign asking all governments, including Canada, to ban terminator technology to ensure the technology is never field tested or commercialized. Terminator technology refers to plants that have been genetically modified to render sterile seeds at harvest.

Oxford county farmer and EFAO President, Ann Slater says, "By genetically modifying plants that cannot reproduce themselves, the biotechnology and seed corporations, with co-operation from governments, have completely disconnected the growing of food from the rhythm and cycles of nature. In addition, it threatens our seed, and ultimately, our food security by forcing farmers to purchase seed each year."

The official term for Terminator is Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURTs) but the seeds produced through terminator technology are frequently referred to as ‘suicide seeds’ because of their inability to reproduce themselves. This technology was initially developed by seed company, Delta and Pine Land and the US government. The net result of this technology will be that farmers will be unable to replant harvested seed.

"The Canadian Government should be looking at whether this technology benefits farmers and society at large. I fear the motive of the companies is not to feed the world but to fatten their bottom lines." states Director Fran McQuail, from Huron County. " To me, Terminator technology is another genetic modification which might pollute the world's seed stocks the way some of the herbicide resistant genes have, and could potentially cause famine in regions where local food supplies are completely dependant on farm saved seed."

At this point, terminator technology has not been commercialized or field-tested - although trials are currently being conducted in greenhouses in the United States. Since 2000, there has been a de facto moratorium on the release of Terminator seeds under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. However, over the past year there has been a push to lift the moratorium.

Terminator technology will be discussed at meetings of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in early 2006. Environmental, peasant and citizen groups from across the world, including the EFAO are asking governments to use these meetings as an opportunity to ban Terminator and protect the livelihood of small- scale and family farmers around the world.

For more information contact: EFAO President, Ann Slater (519) 349-2448 EFAO Director, Fran McQuail (519) 528-2493

3) German Family Farmers Association Living seeds instead of dead harvest - Stop Terminator Seeds , Altenkirchen/ Hamm, 27.11.2005

The General Meeting of the German Family Farmers Association decides unanimously:

The Family Farmers Association in Germany supports the actions against Terminator and will contact all Farmers Associations in Germany to form a broad alliance against Terminator. The Family Farmers Association (AbL) condemns the technical assault on the fertileness of seeds and stands up for the right to save seeds. Reasons:

The Terminator-Technology manipulates crops like wheat, soy or canola in a way that the harvest becomes sterile and the fertileness of seed is destroyed. This Technology is complex and error-prone, but is advertised as a biological containment system to avoid cross- pollination and contamination. The introduction of Terminator- Technology, accompanied by sterile harvest, rules out the right and the possibility to save seed. Terminator aggravates the degree of dependence for farmers in the south and in the north and changes the agricultural system in a very important way. Food sovereignty and biodiversity are threatened by Terminator.

Developed ten years ago, Terminator-Technology is driven by Delta & Pine Land and the US-Government. They aimed to stop the possibility to save seeds. Through the concept of biological containment system they are trying to get Terminator-Technology accepted.

In February, the Canadian government tried to overturn the existing moratorium of the UN against Terminator. They are expected to try to open the door to Terminator during the upcoming meetings of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity in Spain and Brazil.

The international Campaign “Ban Terminator” started in Canada and gets now the first supports from German Organisations.

AbL-Bundesgeschäftsstelle, Bahnhofstraße 31, D-59065 Hamm/Westfalen Tel.: +49-2381 9053171, Fax: +49-2381 492221, E-mail: info@abl-ev.de

4) Objections and Comments on Terminator Technology Gene: Comments on above Technology Generated on 02 December 2005 by KwaNgwanase Farmers Organisation and Phadima Farmers Association

1. We disagree with the government proposal to guarantee this permit.

2. This will destroy our ecological system.

3. Our soil will become poor acidic, and will only produce only Gmo crops and our food systems is reduced. Our culture and seeds will be destroyed.

4. This technology is an enemy of nature and ecological system.

5. Farmers rights and cultural rights are not taken care of.

6. Food security systems operations are destroyed consumers will also dependent.

7. South African emerging farmers, commercial not be empowered only outside seed breeders are encouraged to monopolise our farming systems.

8. This technology uses chemical packages which destroys our environments and increase toxic elements in our Health systems.

9. We pledge to S.A Government to stop this technology in our country.

10. This is the way Government want to destroys and complete finishes our local seed varieties and our indigenous knowledge systems.

11. This is not natural and ethical.

12. This will create a nation without culture and poverty is promoted.

13. The KwaNgwanase "Inkosi" Tembe must call the ''imbizo'' for the community to verify and promote Tembe cultural values and activities, (Tembe Reinasance).

14. We must go to public to tell them about this technology and let them have a choice.


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