Bill to ban Terminator introduced in Canada

SOURCE: Ban Terminator, Canada
AUTHOR: ETC Group, Canada/USA, Press Release
DATE: 31.05.2007

Bill to ban Terminator introduced in Canada

A bill to prohibit field testing and commercialization of Terminator
seed technology was introduced in the Canadian Parliament today.
Terminator refers to plants that are genetically engineered to render
sterile seeds at harvest - a technology that aims to maximize seed
industry profits by preventing farmers from re-planting harvested seed.

"Canada needs to pass this bill into law because genetic seed
sterilization is dangerous and blatantly anti-farmer - suicide seeds
threaten to intensify corporate control over Canadian agriculture and
offers no benefits for farmers," said Colleen Ross of the National
Farmers Union.

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.

"Canada has led a behind-the-scenes push to undermine the United Nations
moratorium," points out Pat Mooney, Executive Director of the Ottawa-
based ETC Group, "so it's time the Canadian Government listened to the

"Researchers are continuing to develop and win patents on Terminator
because seed sterility is simply too lucrative for industry to abandon,"
said Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

"A national law to prohibit the technology is the only way to insure
that Terminator is never commercialized in Canada. The Government of
Canada must show its commitment to the international community and not
bow to industry pressure," said Sharratt.

The full text of the Canadian bill will be available here on June 1:

NDP tables ban on Terminator seeds and technology

SOURCE: New Democratic Party, Canada
AUTHOR: Alex Atamanenko (MP), Press Release
DATE: 31.05.2007

NDP tables ban on Terminator seeds and technology

OTTAWA - Today the NDP's agriculture critic, Alex Atamanenko (British
Columbia Southern Interior), announced the tabling of a Private Member's
Bill to ban "terminator technology," making a commitment to sustaining
Canadian farmers and the farming industry.

"It is time to make a commitment to our farmers and to the international
community that terminator seeds will not be allowed to take root in
Canada," said Atamanenko. "We all share the conviction that Canada
should join the ranks of countries like India and Brazil, whose
governments have already legislated bans on this technology in order to
protect their farmers."

The Terminator Seed Ban Act is designed to protect the right of Canadian
farmers to save seeds by banning the release, sale, importation and use
of Variety Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (V-GURTs), more commonly
known as Terminators, which genetically engineer seeds to be sterile
after the first harvest. The promoters of this technology do not make
the claim that there will be any agronomic benefits to farmers.

"The only goal of those who promote the use of Terminator technologies
is to prevent farmers from saving and re-using seeds, thereby forcing
them to buy seeds on the market each season," said Atamanenko.

Since 2005, the federal government has been working against global
consensus on banning Terminator seeds. It does not recognize the current
moratorium and says it will assess the technology on a case-by-case
basis - a position which has been rejected by the UN Convention on

"The international community would rejoice if Canada were to pass this
law. We have an opportunity to bring the world a major step closer to
eliminating this detestable technology," concluded Atamanenko. "Judging
by the 1,400 letters that my office has received, and which continue to
arrive daily, Canadians are spelling it out loud and clear to this
government - BAN TERMINATOR!"