RE: Politics and food...ARGH!!! was RE: [tomato] Re Caspian

margaret lauterbach (
Sat, 03 Apr 1999 08:27:12 -0700

At 09:51 PM 4/2/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Richard wrote:
>I don't think the terminator technology has claimed to increase
>productivity. It is intended to protect the originator of a hybrid by not
>allowing the plant to produce viable seed.  In other words, it extends any
>plant patent indefinitely if it doesn't obviate the need for a patent in
>the first place.
>Richard, my writing was sloppy. One of the arguments I hear in support of
>terminator technology runs along the lines of a) hybrids are more productive
>than open pollinated varieties and hyrids offer the best chance of feeding
>the growing number of people on the planet, b) the "best" way to provide
>incentives for the continuing and future creation of "needed" hybrids is to
>render the seed sterile so the patent holder is protected against loss of
>revenue downstream, c) because of a) and b) it therefore follows that
>terminator technology is the only way to produce better hybrids needed to
>feed the world. And that's twisted, specious and crazy "logic" in my book.
I don't believe any change at all must be made to seeds or plants prior to
using terminator technology. They can apply that technology to OP crops and
they're protected. There are now dozens of patents for this type of
technology, including those that will set seed and germinate, but not
flower. Some that will pass through the flowering stage, but will not ripen
fruit unless you use the magic chemical that will override the technology.
I have Caspian Pink seedlings, and I'm dubious about planting any in my
garden, even enclosed in a cage.  The sales pitch for this one has been
strident and overblown.  I may just stick with Pruden's Purple in this regard.

BTW, some of the genetically engineered crops contain BT so gardeners don't
have to spray or dust until the generation of superbugs come along that
can't be killed, period.  And what's happened to all of that BT you
ingested?  Ask the FDA.  Margaret L