The terminator gene technology

The terminator gene technology, or genetic use restriction technology (GURT), is the genetic modification of plants to make them produce sterile seeds in second generation which is also famous as a “suicide seeds”. Biodiversity and food security especially in developing countries are under threat by a newly patented technique for preventing plants from producing viable seeds. The method dubbed “the suicide seeds” by critics was developed in a joint venture between the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Mississippi based Delta and Pine Land Company, the largest cotton seed company in the world. Ethically, the technology will enslave farmers by making them dependent on multi-national seed companies for supply of seed inputs and other chemical inducers. The advocating companies argue that Terminator technology will prevent the contamination of non-GM crops with GM-crops. By this way they say that if all GM varieties had the terminator trait they would not be able to spread into the environment, and so biosafety would be ensured. The advocates of the new technology argue that for patents to be protected effectively, the technique has to be incorporated into seeds. However, multi-national seed companies, like Monsanto, control the supply of these seeds and farmers in developing countries will be hooked to these seeds. Critics argue that the technology endangers biodiversity and well-being of 1.4 billion rural people world wide, especially, in developing countries like India that normally depend on farm-saved seeds.