IAHF List: Encouraging and very welcome news follows! We might be able
preserve the human race yet, despite Monsanto's mindless greed driven
eugenics. We don't need Mondsanto to genetically engineer seeds so that
they can't germinate. That could kill a lot of us(!!) I urge all of you to
visit the RAFI website after reading this encouraging report in order to
learn of their important efforts. IAHF can't focus singlehandedly on ALL
the health freedom issues. We work closely with groups such as RAFI, the
National Health Federation, and the American Preventive Medical Assn and
often exchange information with these groups. Many hands make light work!
>>ALERT: Look for More Important Items on the Terminator Very Soon!
>>Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI)
>>News Release - 23 October 1998
>>World's Largest International Agricultural Research Network Vows not to
>>use Terminator Technology
>>It's bad for poor farmers and it's bad for crop biodiversity concludes the
>>Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) meeting
>>With more than 70% of the Third World's rice and wheat crops based upon
>>its crop breeding programmes, the world's largest network of agricultural
>>research institutes is vowing not to use Terminator Technology (a
>>biotech-based strategy that prevents seed from regerminating in a second
>>growing season). The decision is a slap in the face to one of its major
>>funders - the US Government, and to Monsanto Corporation - who claim their
>>technology will help feed the hungry.
>> RAFI has learned that a special committee of the Consultative Group for
>>International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has agreed to advise its
>>network of 16 International Agricultural Research Centres to adopt a
>>no-use policy with respect to the Terminator Technology jointly patented
>>by the US Department of Agriculture and a Monsanto subsidiary, Delta and
>>Pine Land Seed Company. The decision, by the Genetic Resources Policy
>>Committee of the CGIAR, will - if custom is maintained - be accepted by
>>the entire network at its annual gathering in Washington October 26-30.
>>This is the first time, to RAFI's knowledge, that the CGIAR - with an
>>annual budget of about US$325 million in 1998, has taken such a
>>controversial policy position and directly challenged the CGIAR's biggest
>>long-term donor - the US Government.
>> "Its the right decision and it is also a courageous decision," says RAFI
>>director, Pat Roy Mooney. "Since the patent was granted in the United
>>States last March, it has attracted unprecedented opposition from farmers'
>>organizations, environmentalists, and agricultural scientists. More than
>>1,850 individuals from 54 countries have written personal protests to the
>>US Secretary of Agriculture demanding that the technology be banned,"
>> The CGIAR's policy committee, chaired by World Food Prize winner, M.S.
>>Swaminathan of India, began studying the Terminator at RAFI's request last
>>April. The policy committee agreed to call for a network-wide ban on the
>>use of the technology when it met in Washington Tuesday this week.
>>Government delegations arriving in Washington for next week's formal
>>meetings learned of the decision as they arrived at their hotels.
>>Voices for the Poor:
>> "RAFI doesn't have direct access to the final resolution," Mooney
>>reports, "but several delegates confirm that the ban was accepted because
>>the Terminator threatens the well-being of 1.4 billion poor people who,
>>according to FAO statistics, depend upon farm saved-seed for their food
>>security. Many also opposed the Terminator because of its direct and
>>indirect threat to crop genetic diversity. By rendering the harvested
>>seed sterile, the Terminator puts a chilling end to 12 thousand years of
>>farm seed conservation and community plant breeding." According to RAFI's
>>sources, opposition to the Terminator was strongest from CIMMYT (the
>>International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre near Mexico City), IPGRI
>>(the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute in Rome) and from the
>>committee's Chair, M.S. Swaminathan.
>>Third World Target:
>> "This is a serious blow to Monsanto and to the US Government," Pat Mooney
>>asserts, "Both parties have argued that the Terminator was designed with
>>Third World farmers in mind. They have also specifically identified crops
>>like wheat and rice in countries such as India, China and Pakistan. The
>>inventors claim that Terminator will give companies with proprietary
>>genetic traits confidence to risk selling their seeds abroad. Since
>>farmers can't save the seeds, they are forced back to the marketplace to
>>buy seed every season. Patented genes can't be bred into other varieties
>>by poor farmers. Traditionally," Mooney explains, "women farmers not only
>>save seed but they use purchased seed to cross with other breeding stock
>>to improve and adapt the seed to their local needs. The Terminator makes
>>all this impossible."
>> For these reasons, the Government of India has announced that it won't
>>allow Terminator technology into the country. The Terminator has also
>>been banned in at least one Brazilian state and the technology was the
>>subject of active debate in the Irish Parliament yesterday. "The
>>Terminator patent is pending in 87 countries, RAFI believes that many of
>>these countries will block the patent on the grounds that it is contrary
>>to public morality. The decision by the CGIAR will accelerate opposition
>>around the world. "The CGIAR's members have just cause to be proud of
>>their stance on the side of poor farmers," Pat Mooney concludes.
International Advocates for Health Freedom
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fax 954-929-0507, www.iahf.com,
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