cj#895> re: Monsanto & terminator

1999-01-23

Richard Moore

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Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999
From: Daniel del Solar <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: cj#894> Monsanto & terminator

it is the ideal of capitalism to make everything natural and "free" into
something that costs money. In the United States, we are now regularly paying
for water. The next step will be air.  Seeds are well on the way with this
Monsanto "initiative."  I will send you, under separate cover, the great protest
to this TERMINATOR TECHNOLOGY that has occurred in India, where initial tests of
it are being carried out, or trying to be carried out. You are right, so far,
there has been a near absolute popular media lack of coverage.

Daniel del Solar

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From: "Dan Desmond" <•••@••.•••>
To: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: RE: cj#894> Monsanto & terminator
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999

Actually, there has been a virtual terminator effect in most hybrid seeds
for many years now - that is, you can't get yields or even fertility out of
hybrid progeny.  In addition, many hybrids require more fertilizer than
natural, self-pollinating seeds, and may lack the natural genetic diversity
to withstand new pests or diseases.

That's why organizations like Seed Savers is so vital.  They are fighting to
preserve genetic diversity, particularly in old or natural variety seeds.
There's an interesting story about seeds that is buried in the history of
WW2.  Much of the worlds seed gene stock came from the Mendeleev Institute
that was cut off during the siege of Stalingrad.  The scientists tending the
reserves could have sprouted and eaten the seeds to survive.  But because
they recognized the future value of their research, chose instead to starve
to death.  As we were still allies at the end of the war, many American
agri-business firms benefited from their sacrifice ( I suspect Monsanto was
among them, but have no certain knowledge).

At any rate, this is indeed a monstrous plan.  I think the only defense is
to acquire and distribute natural seeds to as many parts of the world as
possible.  If, of course, the terminator genes jump species and dominate, it
could cause a global ecocide.  Our political leadership is preoccupied with
other matters these days.  But some day, if we ever get anyone to pay
attention to the really important issues, this one should be at the top of
the list.

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From: "Adkins, Gerald" <•••@••.•••>
To: •••@••.•••
Subject: RE: cj#894> Monsanto & terminator
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999

Richard, this is really scarey.  Two things concern me.  (1) If this
terminator seed were true, I doubt the public would ever be allowed to know
about it, and (2), with the successful dumbing down of our collective
intelligence, even if the public were made aware, I wonder if they would
understand the implications for mankind?   Jerry

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Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999
To: •••@••.•••
From: "Clark, Elisabeth" <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Fwd: Terminator Technology

Dear Richard

I first became aware of this corrupt technology through cj list last
September.  Below is letter from Bob Mueller, who has done the leg work and
discovered a website where coordinated opposition and protest is being
organized.

I apologize for not editing the post but I thought you might want to look
at the electronic trail.

In solidarity
Elisabeth Clark

                <http://www.rafi.org/usda.html>


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>Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 16:10:00 -0400
>To: Elisabeth Clark <•••@••.•••>
>From: Claire Robitaille <•••@••.•••>
>Subject: Fwd: Terminator Technology
>
>Date: Tue, 5 Jan 1999 12:17:59 -0800 (PST)
>From: Phil Agre <•••@••.•••>
>To: "Red Rock Eater News Service" <•••@••.•••>
>Subject: [RRE]Terminator Technology
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>Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 10:33:44 -0800
>From: "Bob Mueller" <•••@••.•••>
>Subject: Terminator Technology
>
>-------------------------------------------------------
>STOP DANGEROUS PLANT-CASTRATING "TERMINATOR TECHNOLOGY"
>-------------------------------------------------------
>
>December 18th, 1998
>
>To whom it should concern:
>
>Hi.  My name is Bob Mueller.  I'm not a paid activist, nor am I
>really an activist at all, aside from the fact that I've been
>jostled out of complacency enough to write this alert.  I am,
>however, an ordinary citizen who is quite unsettled by one
>specific issue:  U.S. Patent 5,723,765, entitled "Control of
>Plant Gene Expression".  The patent covers technology referred to
>as a plant "Technology Protection System" (TPS), otherwise known as
>Terminator Technology.
>
>My goal is simple:  to share my concern with you, in the hope
>that you will be alarmed enough to more completely educate yourself
>regarding this matter.  For if I can accomplish this, I am
>convinced, you will surely ACT.
>
>The USDA, spending public money, has developed a technology
>whereby seeds can be stripped of their ability to propagate.
>They are in the process of patenting the process worldwide on
>behalf of Monsanto, through a subsidiary (Delta and Pine Land
>Company).
>
>The driving force behind the Terminator technology is the ability
>for Monsanto, and Delta and Pine Land Co., to protect their
>"inventions" from being "duplicated" unlawfully, which, granted,
>sounds appropriate and fair.
>
>The result, however, will be to replace natural crops worldwide,
>with genetically enhanced, superior, high yield crops.  Superior,
>that is, except for the fact that they can no longer reproduce
>themselves, effectively forcing farmers worldwide to buy their
>seeds annually from Monsanto...the world's only supplier.
>
>The patent applies to ALL PLANTS.
>
>This is the ultimate in Capitalism.  We're going to remove
>nature's ability to propagate herself, so we can charge money for
>that privilege.
>
>However, I only wish this were the full extent of the issue.
>The part that pushes my button; the part that really unnerves me,
>is the probability that, for all their careful planning, this
>genetically altered organism will share its suicidal genes with
>OTHER plant species.
>
>Most children know about the "birds and the bees" ...
>
>Indeed, Martha L. Crouch, Associate Professor of Biology at
>Indiana University, has published a series of papers specifying
>how the resulting castrated plants WILL be able to sterilize
>nearby normal species, via the spread of Terminator pollen.  Not
>only that, but how these plants will be able to actually *pass*
>the toxin gene to other plant species through cross-pollination:
>
>> when farmers plant the Terminator seeds, the
>> seeds already will have been treated with
>> tetracycline, and thus the recombinase will
>> have acted, and the toxin coding sequence will
>> be next to the seed-specific promoter, and
>> will be ready to act when the end of seed
>> development comes around. The seeds will grow
>> into plants, and make pollen.  Every pollen
>> grain will carry a ready-to-act toxin gene. If
>> the Terminator crop is next to a field planted
>> in a normal variety, and pollen is taken by
>> insects or the wind to that field, any
>> eggs fertilized by the Terminator pollen will
>> now have one toxin gene. It will be activated
>> late in that seed's development, and the seed
>> will die.  However, it is unlikely that the
>> person growing the normal variety will be able
>> to tell, because the seed will probably look
>> normal. Only when that seed is planted, and
>> doesn't germinate, will the change become
>> apparent.
>
>> In most cases, the toxin gene will not be
>> passed on any further, because dead plants
>> don't reproduce. However, under certain
>> conditions I will discuss later, it is
>> possible for the toxin gene to be inherited.
>
>http://www.bio.indiana.edu/people/terminator.html
>
>Yet this "product" has been virtually assured of being passed as
>safe, in the USDA's own words:  "These approvals are expected
>because there appear to be no crop or food safety risks to the
>new technology. There also appear to be no environmental risks."
>
>http://www.rafi.org/translator/termtrans.html
>
>Now why would the USDA come to this conclusion on a technology
>that has only been tested by those having a vested interest in
>its commercial success?
>
>Could it be because it's worth an estimated 1.5 billion dollars
>a year in licensing fees alone, and the USDA is LICENSING the
>technology to Monsanto?
>
>Awesome economics on a global scale.  Patent has been applied for
>in 87 countries.
>
>Please, please, go to the following web page, and read the data...
>both sides of the story.  There are many more potential problems
>with this technology than I have outlined here.  Follow the links.
>Assure yourself that you are, indeed, awake, for you may be
>tempted to think this is merely a bad dream -- or a science-fiction
>story.
>
>http://www.rafi.org/usda.html
>
>If you are as affected by the nature of this venture as I was, at
>the very least, please use the RAFI site to model a letter of
>protest that will be sent simultaneously to the Secretary of the
>US Department of Agriculture, the Administrator of the USDA
>Agricultural Research Service, the Chair of the US House of
>Representatives Agriculture Committee, and the Chair of the US
>Senate Agriculture Committee.
>
>This technology has NOT yet been commercialized.  We are, in
>fact, in the uncommon position of being able to say no before it
>becomes widespread -- pun intended.
>
>I hope I have convinced you to examine this issue.
>
>As a concerned individual, I thank you for your time.
>
>Bob Mueller   10/18/98
>•••@••.•••

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