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Thursday, January 07, 1999
In March of 1998 a seed company in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture, was awarded a US Patent #5.723.765. This company was than purchased by Monsanto and Delta and Pine Co. Although the patent is broad, it includes a scheme to engineer crops to kill their own seeds in the second generation, thus making it impossible for farmers to save and replant seeds. In Addition to the US, this patent is pending in 84 countries, including all Europe, Canada and others.
But is this a fair assumption, that the seed company owns the seed forever? As a farmer of twenty years, I purchased the seed. I than plant, fertilize and nurture the crop. The seed I purchased, is gone. It has reproduced into a vegetative state. I harvest, dry and store the crop. The risk of loss is mine, hail draught etc. Unquestionably the crop is mine, to sell, feed to livestock, or whatever. If I decide to use some for seed, I must store, test, clean and treat the grain. Than I can use the grain I raised for seed. Now the company I purchased the seed from, says it is still theirs. How can this be? The cost of seed is high, and margin of profit is low. Farmers around the world are having serious economic problems. Seed is replaced every few years at any rate, as new strains become available etc. Now, these corporations want to control all seeds. With this technology they could do that. They will also destroy many seeds which are not in their inventory, or cannot be unlocked. Perhaps they destroy a "wild" plant. We have not even identified all the plants ! Perhaps that plant had the medicine to restore YOUR health, or your children’s health. Now it is destroyed......... No more..........
On first site, it seems the Corporation is protecting it’s own interests, hybrid seeds. But, the extent of the "Terminator’s" effect is far reaching. It discriminates, supposedly by family. Thus if used for pumpkin seeds, it would effect all pumpkins. But there is further consideration, the pumpkin is in the squash family, and all the squash family could be affected, exterminating squash from the planet, unless you had the ‘key’ to energize the fertile germ.
Does any corporation "own" seeds? I think not. Whatever creation story you use, creation included plants, water, animals, minerals, the universe, the winged and also humans. The created, are destined to live together in the circle of life. If any element is destroyed, the others will soon follow. Thus we live in a circle, interdependent on each other.
Corporations do not own seeds, anymore than American Airlines owns the air. Corporations must be called upon to respect and honor this relationship. Certainly they have no right to control any of it.
What of the blocker in the plant? Will that effect the plants structure? Usability? Will it alter it in such a way that it causes health problems? What of the altered seeds? Seeds make oil, such as corn oil, cotton seed oil, soybean oil. Now to unlock the seeds, they must be soaked in tetracycline. Are you than destined to eat tetracycline in your cooking oils? Ever read the warnings on health from the tetracycline label? (hint, not good)
Tetracycline soaked seeds, are carried away by birds, varmints etc, and scattered . What effect will this have on the earth? What effect will this have on the birds, animals, insects, bio--organisms of the planet?
We have spent billions attempting to bring seeds and gardening techniques to others, that they can provide for themselves. Now, their seeds are in danger of being destroyed.
The far reaching effect of allowing this procedure to be used has the potential to be total destruction of the plant kingdom. The economic destruction is huge. The mentality which produced Nuclear Plants, without first considering what to do with the waste, has already left us in a dangerous state. Surely we cannot gamble our vegetation, our planet, our lives, to fulfill someone’s greed.
Please contact your Representatives, and utilize the rafi site if you are on the Internet.
An excellent paper outlining the process of the "Terminator" can be found here. http://www.bio.indiana.edu/people/terminator.html
The RAFI "Dead Seed Scroll’s" site is here: http://www.rafi.org/translator/termtrans.html
The RAFI site with info and where you can send email to the "powers" is here: http://www.rafi.org/usda.html