February 26, 2006

Monsanto Apologizes

A 21 February2006  news release from the Ban Terminator Campaign reported on Monsanto's revised pledge on Terminator. Whereas the company made a public commitment in 1999 not to use Terminator technology, its new pledge suggests that it would use Terminator seeds in non-food crops and does not rule out other uses in the future. Now Monsanto's Director of Public Policy has written an apology to the Ban Terminator Campaign and concedes that it didn't really mean it would consider using Terminator in non-food crops.

In ETC Group's view, Monsanto's modified text was not a mistake or an accident. When Hope Shand of ETC Group spoke to Monsanto representative Roger Krueger in January, he indicated that Monsanto's position was not to use Terminator in food crops. After a series of communications between Lucy Sharratt of the Ban Terminator Campaign and Monsanto, the company has officially backed down. Monsanto's apology and related email correspondence appear below. Despite Monsanto's renewed pledge not to develop or use "genetic engineering methods that result in sterile seeds," ETC Group notes that the company's pledge leaves the door open and does not rule out future development of the technology. Monsanto's pledge still allows the company to change its position on any aspect of its pledge at any time. ETC Group will continue to monitor Monsanto's pledge and actions related to Terminator.

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