Over the 12,000 years that humans have been farming, a rich tradition of seed saving has developed. Men and women choose seeds from the plants that are best adapted to their own locale and trade them within the community, enhancing crop diversity and success rates.

All this may change in the next four to five years. Monsanto Corporation has been working to consolidate the world seed market and is now poised to introduce new genetically engineered seeds that will produce only infertile seeds at the end of the farming cycle.

Farmers will no longer be able to save seeds from year to year and will be forced to purchase new seeds from Monsanto each year.

Dubbed “Terminator technology” by Hope Shand of the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), Monsanto’s new seeds have diverse implications, including the disruption of traditional farming practices around the world, the altering of the earth’s biodiversity, and possible impacts on human health. Monsanto has euphemistically called the process by which seeds are disabled the “technology protection system.” It was named the #3 Censored story of 1999.

Sources were: MOJO WIRE, April 27, 1998; Third World Resurgence, #92; Earth Island Journal, June and Fall 1998; The Ecologist, Sept/Oct 1998.



The Associated Press reported on December 14, 2009, that “Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co’s business practices reveal how the world’s biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.

“With Monsanto’s patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S. the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.

“Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family’s dinner table. That’s because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch, and beef stew you ate for dinner were likely produced from crops grown with Monsanto’s patented genes.”

Those who cannot remember the past

are condemned to repeat it!

-George Santayana