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March 27, 2006

I've read about them, but only casually. This article about "terminator seeds filled in some gaps for me.

The commercialisation of Terminator seeds, which would make it impossible for farmers to save seeds from their harvests, would provoke enormous losses for farmers, forcing them off the land and exacerbating hunger and poverty, she maintained.

According to ECT Group estimates, soybean production in Argentina would be hit by an additional 276 million dollars in annual costs, while the cost of wheat production in Pakistan would be 191 million dollars higher.

There's this enormous tension in my brain...between the knowledge that we need better methods of producing more food in order to feed our increasingly over-populated world and the knowledge that we're turning dangerous products loose on an enironment already badly off-balance.

The United States won the award for "most despicable" act of biopiracy, for imposing plant intellectual property laws on occupied, war-torn Iraq in June 2004, making it illegal for Iraqi farmers to re-use seeds harvested from new varieties registered under the law.

Okay, so this story filled in gaps in more than one story.

Posted by AnneZook at 07:28 PM


i'm sure you've read the reports by OXFAM and other relief agencies that hunger is a purely political problem. there's plenty of food for everyone. the problem is distribution. the people who have don't want to share.

of course, starvation has been a genocidal weapon employed ever since war was invented. whenever you see a starving population, chances are good there's a war going on nearby, and somebody blocking supply lines.

the thing we're much more likely to run out of is clean drinkable water. we're just a few short years away from water replacing oil as the mcguffin over which world wars will be fought. i'm sure it's somewhere in the fine print of the PNAC, or if not somewhere in the Heritage Foundation's databanks.

Posted by: r@d@r at March 27, 2006 09:25 PM

I don't understand. Why would Argentina force their farmers to plant with these seeds? Why wouldn't they continue to plant their old seed varieties and just avoid the terminators?

Posted by: Walter at March 28, 2006 07:47 AM

I know, r@d@r, that we have enough food for everyone. But teaching, for instance, the USofA that the food we throw away every day could feed three starving African nations? The way to do that is beyond me. We can't even feed our own hungry.

If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them....

Posted by: Anne at March 30, 2006 08:58 AM

A lot of it is political, Walter. Too much to get into in a teensy comments box :) but it has to do with so-called "free trade" and with the political pressure the USofA puts on countries to buy even our most unwanted products.

Posted by: Anne at March 30, 2006 08:59 AM