In the past, several multinational seed corporations have publicly pledged not to commercialize Terminator seeds - but, not surprisingly, there is intense industry pressure to overturn Brazil's national law prohibiting suicide seeds. Bill number 268 (2007) in the Brazilian Congress proposes to:
* allow research, registration and patenting of sterile seed technology;
* allow commercialization of Terminator plants that are genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals;
* provide a new definition of genetic use restriction technology;
* provide a new definition of GM plants engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals
The bill in favor of sterile seed technology is supported by the biotech industry and agribusiness allies - and it was supposed to come up for a vote in the Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development today. We just learned from friends in Brasilia that the rapporteur didn't show up for the Commission meeting - so the vote did not happen. However, it could come up again anytime over the next few weeks. The industry-inspired group that is trying to overturn Brazil's national ban on Terminator is the same group that tried unsuccessfully to repeal Brazil's law in March 2006 - during the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. At that United Nations meeting, over 180 governments unanimously upheld and strengthened the moratorium on suicide seed technology. Despite the fact that the Brazilian delegation at that UN meeting included several Monsanto representatives, the Brazilian government also supported the international moratorium.
Fortunately, Latin America's Ban Terminator Campaign and the GM-Free Brazil Campaign are monitoring the situation in Brasilia, working closely with members of Congress and campaigning against moves to repeal the ban on Terminator. Maria Jose Guazzelli of the Ban Terminator Campaign explains that the vote in the Environment Commission is just the first step. It must be considered by other Commissions, with a written justification, before a vote in the plenary of the Congress.
For further information, contact the Ban Terminator Campaign in Latin
Julian Perez AND Maria José Guazzelli
Go here for more information about the International Ban Terminator Campaign.