Terminator rejected! A victory for the people

Good news from the Ban Terminator campaign...

Terminator rejected! A victory for the people

Just an hour ago here in Brazil, the Chair of the UN meeting
announced that governments have agreed to reject language that would
have undermined the moratorium on Terminator.

Groups, communities and individuals across the world have joined
together in this fight to ban Terminator and your action has been
effective in this important first step.

The Ban Terminator Campaign will continued to monitor the meetings
today and next week.

Terminator rejection - a victory for the people

A broad coalition of peasant farmers, indigenous peoples and civil
society today celebrate the firm rejection of efforts to undermine
the global moratorium on Terminator technologies - genetically
engineered sterile seeds - at the UN Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD) in Curitiba, Brazil.

"This is a momentous day for the 1,4 billion poor people world wide,
who depend on farmer saved seeds," said Francisca Rodriguez of Via
Campesina a world wide movement of peasant farmers, "Terminator seeds
are a weapon of mass destruction and an assault on our food
sovereignty. Terminator directly threatens our life, our culture and
our identity as indigenous peoples", said Viviana Figueroa of the
Ocumazo indigenous community in Argentina on behalf of the
International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity.

"Todays' decision is a huge step forward for the Brazilian Campaign
against GMOs," said Maria Rita Reis from the Brazilian Forum of
Social movements and NGOs, "This reaffirms Brazils' existing ban on
Terminator. It sends a clear message to the national government and
congress that the world supports a ban on Terminator." "Common sense
has prevailed - lifting the Moratorium on the Terminator seeds would
have been suicidal - literally," said Greenpeace International's
Benedikt Haerlin from the Convention meeting. "This is a genuine
victory for civil society around the world - it will go a long way to
ensuring that biodiversity, food security and the livelihoods of
millions of farmers around the world are protected."

Terminators, or GURTS (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies), are a
class of genetic engineering technologies which allow companies to
introduce seeds whose sterile offspring cannot reproduce, preventing
farmers from re-planting seeds from their harvest. The seeds could
also be used to introduce specific traits which would only be
triggered by the application of proprietary chemicals by the same

At the CBD Australia, Canada and New Zealand along with the US
government (not a party to the CBD) and a number of biotech companies
were leading attempts to open the door to field testing of Terminator
seeds by insisting on 'case by case' assessment of such
technologies. This text was unanimously rejected today in the CBD's
working group dealing with the issue. It still needs to be formally
adopted by the plenary of the CBD.

Despite today's victory, there is no doubt that the multinational
biotech industry will continue to push sterile seed technology.
'Terminator' will rear its ugly head at the next UN CBD meeting in
2008. The only solution a total ban on the technology once and f or
all," concluded Pat Mooney of the Ban Terminator Campaign. Now all
national governments must enact national bans on Terminator as Brazil
and India have done.