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Monsanto Plans to Go Forward with Controversial Terminator Gene Technology

Posted 2/22/06

<http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2006/21/c4913.html>
Canada NewsWire (press release) - Canada

Monsanto May Commercialize Terminator - Biotech Giant Revises Pledge on
Sterile Seed Technology as Global Alliance Calls for a Ban


MONTREAL, Feb. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Monsanto, the world's largest seed and
agbiotech company, made a public promise in 1999 not to commercialize
'Terminator Technology' - plants that are genetically engineered to produce
sterile seeds. Now Monsanto says it may develop or use the so-called
'suicide seeds' after all.

The revised pledge from Monsanto now suggests that it would
use Terminator seeds in non-food crops and does not rule out other uses of
Terminator in the future. Monsanto's modified stance comes to light as the
biotech and seed industry confront peasant and farmer movements, Indigenous
peoples and their allies in an escalating battle at the United Nations over
the future of Terminator.

In 2000 the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
adopted a de facto moratorium on sterile seed technologies, also known as
Genetic Use Restriction Technologies (GURTs). But at next month's high-level
meeting of the CBD in Curitiba, Brazil (20-31 March 2006) the biotechnology
industry will intensify its push to undermine the six-year old de facto
moratorium.

In response, over 300 organizations today declared their support for a
global ban on Terminator Technology, asserting that sterile seeds threaten
biodiversity and will destroy the livelihoods and cultures of the 1.4
billion
people who depend on farm-saved seed.

"The world's farmers cannot trust Monsanto," said Stewart Wells,
President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) of Canada "Monsanto's broken
promise is a deadly betrayal because Indigenous peoples and farmers depend
onseed saving for food security."

The Ban Terminator campaign today announces the names of over 300
organizations worldwide that are demanding a ban on Terminator technology.

Thelist of organizations and other background materials are available at
www.banterminator.org

"We are alarmed that Monsanto's edited pledge no longer rejects
commercialization of this dangerous technology." said Lucy Sharratt of the
international Ban Terminator Campaign. "We are calling on national
governmentsto dismiss Monsanto's tactic in favour of an all-out ban on
Terminator. We invite all civil society and social movements to join with us
for the battle against Terminator next month in Brazil."


For further information: Stewart Wells, President, National Farmers
Union, (306) 773-6852 or (306) 741-7694; Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Ban
Terminator Campaign, (613) 252-2147 or (613) 241-2267; www.BanTerminator.org