Monsanto is in the process of acquiring and patenting their newest technology, known as "Terminator Technology." This technology is currently the
greatest threat to humanity. If it is used by Monsanto on a large-scale basis, it will inevitably lead to famine and starvation on a worldwide
Billions of people on the planet are supported by farmers who save seeds from the crops and replant these seeds the following year. Seeds are planted.
The crop is harvested. And the seeds from the harvest are replanted the following year. Most farmers cannot afford to buy new seeds every year, so
collecting and replanting seeds is a crucial part of the agricultural cycle. This is the way food has been grown successfully for thousands of
With Monsanto's terminator technology, they will sell seeds to farmers to plant crops. But these seeds have been genetically-engineered so that when
the crops are harvested, all new seeds from these crops are sterile (e.g., dead, unusable). This forces farmers to pay Monsanto every year for new
seeds if they want to grow their crops.
In less rich countries, hundreds of millions of people rely heavily on small farms which produce foods for the region. If these farms begin to use
Monsanto's terminator technology, and cannot afford to buy new genetically engineered seeds from Monsanto the following year, many of the people in
the region may starve. Under normal circumstances, food could be brought in from other regions. However, many of those other regions will likely have
the same problems with famine due to Monsanto's terminator technology.
"It's terribly dangerous," says Hope Shand, "half the world's farmers are poor and can't afford to buy seed every growing season, yet poor
farmers grow 15 to 20% of the world's food and they directly feed at least 1.4 billion people - 100 million in Latin America, 300 million in Africa,
and 1 billion in Asia. These farmers depend upon saved seed and their own breeding skills in adapting other varieties for use on their (often
What is even more frightening is that traits from genetically-engineered crops can get passed on to other crops. Once the terminator seeds are
released into a region, the trait of seed sterility could be passed to other non-genetically-engineered crops making most or all of the seeds in the
Camila Montecinos, an agronomist with the Chilean organization, CET, has another concern, "We've talked to a number of crop geneticists who
have studied the patent," she says. "They're telling us that it's likely that pollen from crops carrying the Terminator trait will infect the
fields of farmers who either reject or can't afford the technology. Their crop won't be affected that season but when farmers reach into their bins
to sow seed the following season they could discover - too late - that some of their seed is sterile. This could lead to very high yield losses. If
the technology is transmitted through recessive genes, we could see several years of irregular harvests and a general - even dramatic - decline in
food security for the poorest farm communities."
Because of the worldwide condemnation of terminator seeds, Monsanto appears to be verbally distancing itself from its own technology that it is in the
process of acquiring. Even without the threat of this technology Monsanto is contributing significant to the destruction of health and environment
around the world. But if this technology is released by Monsanto, it could spell disaster for hundreds of millions of people around the world. How
anyone could invest in such a company is difficult to imagine!