Town Hall Meeting Against Terminator Seeds

Posted on Monday, January 01 at 12:01 by Ed Deak
“Although Ag Minister Strahl declined his invitation to attend, it would have been an excellent opportunity to hear what local farmers as well as farmers from across the country have to say about Terminator seeds,” said GE Free BC representative and event organizer Michael Clarke. “Our petition with over 120 signatures adequately demonstrates that local farmers and residents not only have concerns about this controversial technology, but that they also want government at all levels to act in a responsible manner that is in the best interests of family farmers and communities everywhere.” Terminator refers to genetic engineering technologies that allow companies to introduce seeds whose sterile offspring cannot reproduce. This prevents farmers from saving and re-planting seeds from their harvest and fattens the bottom line of trans-national agri-business corporations. Speaking at the event were Tony Beck of GE Free BC and Colleen Ross, Farmer and Women’s President of the National Farmer’s Union, who warned the audience “Terminator, also known as Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT), not only worsens the economic situation of farmers, it threatens biodiversity, food security and food sovereignty for us all." In March 2006 the UN Convention on Biological Diversity reaffirmed and strengthened its global moratorium on field-testing and commercializing Terminator technology, in spite of pressure from the Canadian delegation to weaken it. Now our government appears ready to ignore the UN CBD moratorium altogether as it considers regulations to make Terminator seeds a commercial reality despite widespread global opposition. On Dec. 7th in Ottawa hearings will be held by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture on the future of Terminator in Canada, which is why a resolution was unanimously passed on Sunday that demands a comprehensive ban. The Terminator Town Hall Meeting is part of a nationwide campaign by the Coalition for a GE Free BC, the National Farmers Union of Canada, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, the Council of Canadians and Greenpeace Canada. For information contact: Michael Clarke, GE Free BC: (604) 858-4229 or Colleen Ross, National Farmer’s Union (613) 652-1552 [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 2, 2007]

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