Friday, October 28, 2005


Dear Rosann Wowchuk,

I am deeply concerned that Terminator technology (Genetic Use Restriction Technology or GURTS) is being actively developed and promoted by corporations and that the United Nations de facto moratorium on Terminator at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is not strong enough to stop this dangerous technology. I am writing to urge you to establish a national ban on Terminator technology, and to support an international ban on Terminator at the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity.

People all over the world condemn Terminator technology - gene sterilization technology – because of its serious potential impacts for farmers, Indigenous peoples, food security and biodiversity. The technology has no benefits for farmers. Instead, biotechnologists design Terminator to maximize industry profits by preventing farmers from saving and re-using harvested seed. The technology threatens the livelihoods of over 1.4 billion people who depend on farm-saved seeds as their primary seed source.

Seed and biotechnology corporations are promoting the false argument that Terminator could be used to stop unwanted genetic pollution from industry’s genetically modified crops. However, genetic use restriction technology is too complex and unreliable to prevent the movement of genes. Additionally, if commercialized under the guise of a “biosafety” tool to prevent gene flow, Terminator genes would introduce new hazards since they can spread to neighbouring crops via pollen in the first generation. The spreading of sterile genes could result in ecological catastrophe. Furthermore, farmers who save the seeds of contaminated varieties for replanting may find that some of their seeds do not germinate, potentially translating into significant yield losses.

I urge your government to propose and support a strong recommendation prohibiting the field testing and commercialization of Terminator technology when the CBD’s Working Group on Article 8(j) meets January 23-27 in Granada Spain, and when the 8th Conference of the Parties meets in March 20-31 in Curitiba, ParanĂ¡, Brazil.

I ask for your support to insure that Canada will disapprove the use of Terminator seeds. I urge you to work towards establishing a national ban on Terminator. I also urge our government delegation attending the March 2006 meeting of the 8th Conference of the Parties to the CBD to support an international ban on Terminator.

I look forward to hearing from you. Please take these steps to prohibit Terminator in order to protect farmer livelihoods, biodiversity and food security in Canada.


[insert your name and address here]

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