Terminator technology

Just before the Conference of Parties (COP) began, news had spread that the big seed companies were trying to slip in text in a resolution to dodge the moratorium on terminator seeds. These seeds are genetically altered to make them sterile and thus prevent reuse. Developing countries and civil society groups came ready to fight against any attempt to undermine the current de facto moratorium on such technologies in place since COP5.

The Convention on Biological Diversity Working Group on Article 8(j) had forwarded a text to the conference that allowed for case-by-case risk assessments of such technologies. The text was supported by New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and, of course, the industry groups. G-77 countries strongly opposed the language. They repeatedly warned it could open the door to field trials of terminator seeds and threaten food security and livelihoods across the developing world. Europe also came out clearly against the proposal for case-by-case review and, after relatively short discussions in a

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