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6-Regulation: More about the state of the Terminator discussion at COP-8

                                  PART I
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TITLE:  Terminator rejection - a victory for the people
SOURCE: Greenpeace International, by Benny Haerlin
DATE:   24 Mar 2006

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Terminator rejection - a victory for the people

A broad coalition of peasant farmers, indigenous peoples and civil
society today celebrate the firm rejection of efforts to undermine the
global moratorium on Terminator technologies - genetically engineered
sterile seeds - at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in
Curitiba, Brazil.

"This is a momentous day for the 1,4 billion poor people world wide, who
depend on farmer saved seeds," said Francisca Rodriguez of Via Campesina
a world wide movement of peasant farmers, "Terminator seeds are a weapon
of mass destruction and an assault on our food sovereignty.

Terminator directly threatens our life, our culture and our identity as
indigenous peoples", said Viviana Figueroa of the Ocumazo indigenous
community in Argentina on behalf of the International Indigenous Forum on

"Todays' decision is a huge step forward for the Brazilian Campaign
against GMOs," said Maria Rita Reis from the Brazilian Forum of Social
movements and NGOs, "This reaffirms Brazils' existing ban on Terminator.
It sends a clear message to the national government and congress that the
world supports a ban on Terminator."

"Common sense has prevailed - lifting the Moratorium on the Terminator
seeds would have been suicidal - literally," said Greenpeace
International's Benedikt Haerlin from the Convention meeting. "This is a
genuine victory for civil society around the world - it will go a long
way to ensuring that biodiversity, food security and the livelihoods of
millions of farmers around the world are protected."

Terminators, or GURTS (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies), are a class
of genetic engineering technologies which allow companies to introduce
seeds whose sterile offspring cannot reproduce, preventing farmers from
re-planting seeds from their harvest. The seeds could also be used to
introduce specific traits which would only be triggered by the
application of proprietary chemicals by the same companies.

At the CBD Australia, Canada and New Zealand along with the US government
(not a party to the CBD) and a number of biotech companies were leading
attempts to open the door to field testing of Terminator seeds by
insisting on 'case by case' assessment of such technologies. This text
was unanimously rejected today in the CBD's working group dealing with
the issue. It still needs to be formally adopted by the plenary of the CBD.

Despite today's victory, there is no doubt that the multinational biotech
industry will continue to push sterile seed technology. 'Terminator' will
rear its ugly head at the next UN CBD meeting in 2008. The only solution
a total ban on the technology once and f or all," concluded Pat Mooney of
the Ban Terminator Campaign. Now all national governments must enact
national bans on Terminator as Brazil and India have done.


This morning "friends of the chair" met to discuss the impasse on the
GURTs text and came forward with the proposal to only refer to those
parts of the decision that were taken from the recommended text of the
Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice and not
to those recommended by the Working Group on Article 8(j), which included
the "case by case" language. To be crystal clear a half sentence was
introduced that further research had to be within the mandate of Decision
V/5 (the initial moratorium). The text, to which no party raised
objections any more reads now as follows:


7. Reaffirms decision V/5, section III (Genetic use restriction technologies);

8. Encourages Parties, other Governments, relevant organizations, and
interested stakeholders to:

(a) Respect traditional knowledge and farmers' rights to the preservation
of seeds under traditional cultivation;

(b) Continue to undertake further research, WITHIN THE MANDATE OF
DECISION V/5, on the impacts of genetic use restriction technologies,
including their ecological, social, economic and cultural impacts,
particularly on indigenous and local communities; and

(c) Continue to disseminate the results of studies on the potential
environmental (e.g., risk assessment), socio-economic and cultural
impacts of genetic use restriction technologies on smallholder farmers,
indigenous and local communities, and make these studies available in a
transparent manner through, inter alia, the clearing-house mechanism;

9. Invites the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant
Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture to examine, within the context
of its work, priorities and available resources, the potential impacts of
genetic use restriction technologies with special consideration to the
impacts on indigenous and local communities, smallholder farmers and
Farmers' Rights;

10. Notes that there is a strong demand for capacity-building and
technology transfer, particularly for developing countries and countries
with economies in transition, and that adequate resources need to be
provided, particularly relating to the assessment of, and decision-
making, on genetic use restriction technologies, including regarding
cultural and socio-economic aspects, in accordance with Articles 12, 16,
17, 18 and 20 of the Convention, and supports capacity-building
initiatives covering environmental, cultural and socio-economic aspects
to enable Parties to make informed decisions and actions on genetic use
restriction technologies with the participation of local and indigenous
communities and other stakeholders; and

11. Notes that the issues related to genetic use restriction technologies
should be presented in appropriate language and simplified form, in
particular in order to facilitate the participation of indigenous and
local communities in the development and implementation of appropriate
policies and strategies.

(Intervention by Benny Haelin, Greenpeace, at the press conference)

This victory today marks the beginning of the end of Terminator
technologies, not so much because of the text adopted and rejected, but
because it has been won by a uniquely broad and divers coalition of
peasants, farmers, social movements and environmental organisations who
are supported by the vast majority of delegates, who I am sure are with
us not only by vote, but also by heart - even if they can not express
this to the extend they may wish, given their official role. We are proud
to be a member of this coalition for the future, which will have to fight
for so much more than just a ban on Terminator. All over Curitiba these
days you see beautiful posters saying "biodiversity is in the people".
This expresses exactly what today's victory really means. 500.000 farmers
in India, 120 scientists in Italy, protesters all over the world,
recently staging protest in Delhi and London in front of the New Zealand
embassies, indigenous communities around the globe, environmental and
consumer organisations from all continents say: Sterility will never be a
valid concept to maintain and enhance biodiversity and sustainable
agriculture, to feed the world and to maintain food sovereignty. And, as
one argument of the industry was Terminator was needed to make GMOs safer
the response is: You should never release seeds that need to be made
sterile in order not to threaten the environment. We are confident that
this sends a clear message to governments around the world to ban
Terminator now, once and forever. Let us celebrate not only our victory
today but also the broad and bright perspective our co-operation offers
to a more sustainable agriculture, a better world and to the biodiversity
that includes all people on this planet.. OK - there is a certain
sentimental mood now here in Curitiba.

                                  PART II
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TITLE:  Greenpeace slams Australia for promoting GMO seeds
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   24 Mar 2006

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Greenpeace slams Australia for promoting GMO seeds

CURITIBA, Brazil, March 24 (Reuters) - Environmental group Greenpeace
criticized Australia on Friday for promoting the experimental use of
highly controversial "terminator seeds" derived from genetically modified

The non-government group gave Australia its first Flat Ball Award for its
defense of a seed that critics say undermines biological diversity and
creates dependence among poor farmers.

Terminator seeds come from genetically modified plants and their
offspring are sterile, meaning they cannot be stored for use in future
crops. Environmental activists and several developing countries say the
seeds would make poor farmers throughout the world dependent on
multinational companies to supply them with the seeds annually.

Australia, Canada and New Zealand have lobbied hard to reopen discussion
of field testing of terminator seeds at the U.N. Convention on Biological
Diversity, in the Brazilian city of Curitiba.

A working group at the convention rejected the proposal on Friday. It
still faces a final vote in the plenary session.

"This victory will go a long way toward ensuring that biodiversity, food,
security and the livelihoods of millions of farmers around the world are
protected," said Greenpeace's Benedikt Haerlin.

Australia, Canada and New Zealand had sought to lift a moratorium
implemented in 2000 on the use of terminator seeds, saying the ban limits
scientific research. They argued in favor of case-by-case decisions.

In addition to the cost to farmers, opponents say terminator seeds could
spread their genes into conventional crops and make them sterile.

The seeds' promoters say they will help stop farmers from reproducing
their GMO seeds with each harvest without paying royalties.

                                  PART III
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TITLE:  Terminator Seed Battle Begins:
        Farmers Face Billions of Dollars in Potential Costs
SOURCE: etc group & Ban Teminator Campaign Terminator_22March06.pdf
DATE:   22 Mar 2006

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Terminator Seed Battle Begins:
Farmers Face Billions of Dollars in Potential Costs

Curitiba, Brazil. After a week that has seen a worldwide mobilisation
against Terminator technology, the issue of Suicide Seeds is about to hit
the negotiating floor of the United Nations Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD) meeting in Curitiba, Brazil. Known to the CBD as GURTs
(Genetic Use Restriction Technologies), Terminator crops are genetically
modified to create sterile seeds at harvest so that farmers must buy new
seed every season. Today the Ban Terminator Campaign, a global coalition
of over 500 organisations, released new financial calculations indicating
that Terminator seeds will impose a burden of billions of extra dollars
in seed costs on some of the world's poorest nations.

The calculations, prepared by civil society organisation ETC Group in
cooperation with farm organisations, show that if Terminator were
commercialised, the extra seed costs for farmers in just seven countries
could easily exceed $1.2 billion per year (3 times the amount spent on
public agricultural research in the green revolution centres of the CGIAR
or about half the yearly Canadian aid budget). Yet this amounts to just a
fraction of the full financial windfall the seed industry could hope to
extract from farmers if they were to apply Terminator technology to all
their seed lines worldwide. This figure is thought likely to run to
billions of extra dollars per year. In Brazil, host country to the CBD,
soybean farmers could face US$407 million dollars (Brazilian Real $866
million) of extra seed costs if they were unable to re-use harvested
seed. Even Canadian wheat farmers, whose government is one of the leading
proponents of Terminator at the CBD, could be stung with an annual bill
of US$85 million dollars.

The new calculations are being released in advance of an expected
showdown later today between delegates from the global South and the four
rich countries that have promoted "case by case risk assesment" for
Terminator technology:
Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the UK (supported on the sidelines by
the US, which is not a party to the CBD).

This "case by case" clause would open the door to field trialing and
commercialisation of sterile seed technology.

"No wonder the multinational seed industry is so keen to win 'case by
case' assessment of Terminator," explained Pat Mooney of ETC Group. "If
they can undermine the existing moratorium, they will use Terminator as a
technology platform for all commercial seeds and extract billions of
extra dollars from farmers." Roberto Requião, the Governor of Brazil's
Paraná state, opened the CBD conference on Monday with a strong
condemnation of Terminator.

"Suicide seeds are the next step in the transnational industry's strategy
to control the production and commercial use of seeds," Requião told the
opening plenary of 3000 delegates. "It is one more step by transnational
industry to obtain total control over the production of the grain."
Outside the conference there were colourful protests yesterday as
hundreds of peasant farmers waved flags and placards reading, "Suicide
Seeds are Homicide Seeds." Protests this week have spread far beyond
Curitiba: On Monday half of a million signatures were submitted to the
Prime Minister of India calling on him to maintain India's national ban
on Terminator seeds. In Ottawa, Canada, a thousand people gathered on
Monday night to hold a public 'trial' of Terminator technology in an
attempt to hold the Canadian government accountable. Smaller protests
have occurred at the Canadian embassies in London and Berlin. On March
17th the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution urging
European delegates to the CBD to uphold the existing moratorium on
Terminator and to reject the "case by case" clause.

For more information contact:
Jim Thomas phone in Curitiba: +55(41)88341049 (English)
Karine Peschard: phone in Curitiba: +55(41)88268973

The Potential Economic Impact of Terminator Seed Technology:
Estimates for Selected Crops and Countries

Background: The president of Delta & Pine Land, the world's largest
cotton seed company, predicted in 1998 that Terminator could be used on
over 400 million hectares of crops worldwide, and that it would provide
seed companies with a safe way to introduce their patented seeds into
countries like China, India and Pakistan - especially for crops like
rice, wheat, soybeans and cotton.[i] He also speculated that the
technology fee would range from a low of 50 cents per acre to $1.50 per
acre for high-value crops. (1 hectare = 2.47 acres). Delta & Pine Land is
now growing Terminator plants in greenhouses in the United States.

If farmers who now use farm-saved seeds were forced to buy new seeds
every time they planted, what economic impact would it have on those
countries? The following case studies were compiled using statistics from
national governments, farmers' organizations, trade groups and
universities. These statistics are theoretical - but they illustrate
what's at stake if the CBD fails to strengthen the de facto moratorium on
Terminator and reject proposed language on "case-by-case risk
assessment." If Terminator seeds are commercialized, the multinational
Gene Giants will take total control over the first link in the food chain.

Brazil - Soybeans:
In Brazil, an estimated 70 percent of the 22 million hectare soybean crop
is planted in farmer-saved seed. If Terminator seeds were commercialized
and used in soybeans, it would cost Brazilian soybean farmers US$407
million per year (Brazilian Real $866 million).[ii]

Argentina - Soybeans:
In Argentina, an estimated 70 percent of the 14 million hectare soybean
crop comes from farmer-saved seed and purchases of "bolsa blanca" (black
market) seeds. If Terminator seeds were commercialized and used in
soybean seed, the estimated cost would be US$276 million per annum

Pakistan - Wheat:
In Pakistan approximately 88% of the total wheat area is planted in farm-
saved seeds. If wheat farmers in Pakistan were forced to rely on
Terminator seeds it would cost them an estimated US$191 million per year
(BRL $406 million).[iv]

Pakistan - Cotton:
An estimated 40% of Pakistan's 3.15 million cotton area is planted in
farm-saved cotton seed. The estimated cost if cotton farmers in Pakistan
were forced to buy seed with Terminator technology: US$33 million per
annum (BRL $70 million).[v]

Philippines - Rice:
In the Philippines, 59% of the rice crop is planted with farmer-saved
seeds. If these rice farmers were forced to buy new seed every time they
planted - they would spend an estimated US$172 million per annum (BRL

Ethiopia - Wheat:
In Ethiopia, approximately 90% of the total wheat area is planted in
farm-saved seed. If Terminator seeds were commercialized and Ethiopian
wheat farmers were forced to buy new seed every time they planted, it
would cost an estimated US$66 million per year. (140 BRL)[vii]

Iran - Rice:
In 2001-2002 more than 600,000 hectares under rice production in Iran,
and more than 80% of the total rice area under cultivation was dedicated
to local varieties, which implies farmer-saved seeds. If rice farmers in
Iran who use farmsaved seed on an estimated 480,000 hectares were forced
to buy Terminator rice seed, it would cost approximately US$34 million
(BRL$72) [viii]

Canada - Wheat:
If Canadian wheat farmers (who now grow wheat on 8.36 million hectares
with farm-saved seed) were forced to buy Terminator wheat seed, the total
cost per annum would be US$85 million per annum (BRL$181).

[i] Bill Freiberg, "Is Delta & Pine Land's Terminator Gene" a Billion
Dollar Discovery?" Seed and Crops Digest, March/April 1998.

[ii] Sources: Central Cooperative for Agricultural Research (Coodetec);
Enrique Ortega. FEA, Unicamp, Campinas,, Brasil, FAO.

Approximately 22 million hectares of soybeans were under cultivation in
2005/06. According to Central Cooperative for Agricultural Research
(Coodetec), certified RR soybean seeds account for 2.5 million hectares
of plantings - only 11.4% of the 22 million hectares under cultivation in
the 05-06 growing season. We are using a conservative estimate that 70%
of the total soybean crop in Brazil is planted in farmer-saved and/or
black market seed. According to Enrique Ortega, the cost of certified
soybean seed in Brazil per hectare/per year is US$25.20. 15.4 million
hectares x $25.20 = $388 million. If Brazilian soybean farmers who are
currently using farm-saved seed were forced to buy commercial seed every
year they would spend $388 million on seed at current commercial soybean
seed prices. If an additional fee of 50 cents per acre were charged
($1.23 per hectare $1.23 per hectare x 15.4 million hectares =
$18,942,000. The total estimated cost to Brazilian soybean farmers, if
Terminator seeds were commercialized and used in soybeans = $388 million
+ $19 million = $407 million.

[iii] Sources: Secretaria de Agricultura, Republica Argentina:;
Walter Pengue, Professor of Agriculture and Ecology, University of Buenos
Aires; In Argentina, approximately 70% of the soybean area is planted in
farmersaved seeds and seed purchased on the black market ("bolsa
blanca"). Of the 14 million hectares of soybeans harvested in 2005, an
estimated 9,800,00 hectares were sown with farm-saved soybean seeds. In
Argentina, the cost of soybean seed (RR) is approximately US $27 per
hectare. If farmers who are now using farm-saved seed were forced to use
Terminator soybean seed, how much would they have to pay? 9,800,000 ha x
$27 per ha = $264,600,000; estimated Terminator technology fee (50 cents
per acre) = $1.23 per hectare: $1.23 x 9,800,000 = $12,054,000 Total =
$264,600,000 + $12,054,000 = $276,654,000.

[iv] Sources: Lok Sanjh Foundation;; FAOSTAT.
Pakistan harvested approximately 8.3 million hectares of wheat in 2005.
Only 12% of the total wheat area is planted with purchased seed. An
estimated 7.3 million hectares of wheat are planted with farm-saved seed.
The current price of wheat seed per hectare is approximately US$25.00.
7.3 million hectares x $25 per ha = $182,500,000 Estimated Terminator
technology fee: $1.23 per hectare 7.3 million x $1.23 =
$8,979,000 $182,500,000 + $8,979,000 = $191,479,000. Total estimated cost
if wheat farmers in Pakistan (who are now growing wheat on 7.3 million
hectares with farm-saved seed) were forced to buy seed with Terminator
technology = $191,479,000.

[v] Sources: Sources: Lok Sanjh Foundation, USDA Foreign Agricultural
Service. In 2005/06, Pakistan produced 3.15 million hectares of cotton.
An estimated 40% of the total cotton area, 1,260,000 hectares, is planted
in farm-saved cotton seed. Cost of commercial cotton seed per hectare is
approximately US$25. $25 per ha x 1,260,000 hectares = $31,500,000
Terminator technology fee - $1.23 per hectare = $1.23 x 1,260,000 =
$1,549,800 $31,500,000 + $1,549,800 = $33,049,800 Total estimated cost if
cotton farmers in Pakistan (who are now growing cotton on an estimated
1.26 million hectares with farm-saved seed) were forced to buy seed with
Terminator technology = $33,049,800.

[vi] Sources: Philippines Department of Agriculture; SEARICE, FAO.

Approximately 4.12 million hectares of rice were harvested in the
Philippines in 2005. According to the Philippines Department of
Agriculture, the area planted in certified, registered and hybrid rice
for 05/06 targets = 1.68 million hectares. Of the 1.68 million ha,
approx. 23% to hybrid rice; 77% to certified commercial rice seed.
Approximately 41% total rice area in Philippines planted to purchased
seed. An estimated 59% rice area planted to farmer-saved seeds and
informal seed exchanges (SEARICE notes this is conservative estimate - in
reality the area planted to farmer-saved seed is higher) With government
subsidy the current price of hybrid rice is $24 per hectare. For two
plantings of rice per year, the total is $48 per hectare/per year. Cost
of self-pollinated commercial rice seed: $76.50 per hectare per year (two
plantings) If 389,000 ha planted in hybrid rice, the cost of seed =
389,000 x $48 = $18,672,000 (govt. subsidized price) If 1,291,867 ha
planted in certified commercial rice, the estimated cost of seed (two
plantings per annum) = 1,292,000 hectares x $76.50 = $98,838,000 What
would be the cost if farmers were forced to buy seed for 2,420,000
hectares - the 59% of the total rice area now planted in farm-saved
seeds? We calculate that 23% of total area is the cost of hybrid rice:
556,600 hectares x $48.00 = $26,716,800 Estimated additional technology
fee of 50 cents per acre = $1.23 per hectare (1 hectare = 2.471 acres).
The additional technology fee of $1.23 per hectare x 556,600 hectares =
$684,618 $26,716,800 + $684,618 = $27,401,418 If 77% of Terminator rice
area (1,863,400) - 77% of the area now devoted to farm-saved rice - was
planted at cost of certified commercial (2 plantings per year = $76.50
per hectare) 1,863,400 ha x 76.50 = $142,550,100 1,863,400 ha x $1.23 =
$2,291,982 77% of rice area calculated at cost of certified commercial
seed + technology fee: Total = $144,842,082 144,842,082 + $27,401,418 =
$172,243,500 - the total estimated cost if rice farmers in the
Philippines (now growing rice on 2.4 million hectares with farm-saved
seed) were forced to buy seed with Terminator technology.

[vii] Sources: FAO; Dr. Regassa Feyissa, former director, Institute of
Biodiversity, Addis Ababa. More than 90% of the wheat crop in Ethiopia is
planted in farmer-saved seed. The total wheat area harvested in 2005 was
1,200,000 hectares.

Approximately 1,000,000 hectares planted in farm-saved seeds. Price of
commercial wheat seed in Ethiopia = approximately 525 birr per hectare =
US$ 1 Ethiopian Birr = 0.12443 US dollar 525 Birr = approximately $65.00
per ha US$65 per hectare x 1,000,000 hectares = US$65,000,000 Estimated
Terminator technology fee = $1.23 per hectare x 1,000,000 =
$1,230,000 $65,000,000 + $1,230,000 = $66,000,000 per hectare Ethiopian
wheat farmers were forced to buy commercial wheat seed every time they
planted, and if an additional technology fee of $1.23 per hectare were
added to the price of commercial wheat seed, they would spend an
estimated $66 million per annum.

[viii] Sources: Ministry of Jihad for Agriculture MJA, FAO/TCDC Mission
to the Islamic Republic of Iran; N. Shobha Rani. On the Internet: http:// show_cdr.asp?url_file=//DOCREP/003/W8595T/

According to FAO more than 80% of the rice land under cultivation is
dedicated to local varieties, which implies farmer-saved seeds. In 2001-
2002 more than 600,000 hectares were under rice production in Iran. In
2001-02 the average cost of commercial rice seed per hectare was 568,560
rials, about $70 US dollars at the exchange rate of the time.

Estimated technology fee = US$1.23 per hectare x 480,000 hectare =
US$590,400 480,000 x US$70 = US$33,600,000 US$590,400 + US$33,600,000 =

European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

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