Re: [tomato] This seems insane to me

Margaret Lauterbach (
Wed, 21 Oct 1998 07:42:07 -0600

At 05:35 PM 10/20/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Some of you may have seen this tidbit.  Since we all garden, many of us 
>save seeds, and there has been a recurring discussion about hybrid seeds
>and "heirlooms,"  I'd like to hear from the list about the "Terminator"
>gene Monsanto intends to loose on the world with the assistance of the USDA.
>The commentary is a remnant of a posting I did to a local (on my provider)
>general discussion bb.
>If you don't garden but do eat and can imagine that someday there will be a
>cataclism which interrupts trade, industrial production, or some other
>unimagined stupidity, then contemplate farmers and gardeners who have
>nothing but sterile seed available.
>Take a look at how broad the patent is.  What happens if the
>terminator gene is transmitted to open pollinated plants?  Suddenly the
>heirloom varieties which we love for their taste, productivity, resistance
>to pests and disease, and the repository for genes not yet recognized for
>their importance will be lost.


It seems insane because it is insane.  Hitler lives, but he's with the
USDA.  With "friends" like that, we don't need enemies.  If we don't want
to see a wracking famine, we'll have to pay Monsanto whatever price they
ask, year after year, to buy seeds for third world countries to grow and
eat.  Newscasters are even afraid of this story.  They put it out, say the
altered genes have been shown to be transferred to other plants then a
feeble "heh, heh" and they move on more confidently to something else.