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Government badly briefed on Terminator Technology

The Government has been badly briefed in its advice in backing Terminator Technology

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Wellington meeting ended with doubts as to whether the exchange of views around "Terminator Technology" were listened too. Despite much discussion MFAT, MAF and DOC were not able to appease the concerns raised over the New Zealand governments support of Genetic Use Restriction Techniques (GURTS). The feeling from many NGO's at the meeting was that the advice Government has been given is sub-standard and un-scientific in relation to Terminator Technology.

"Terminator Technology (GURTS) is a disastrous second step to trying to control, protect and amend the contamination and degradation that GE has wrought. It poses a danger to human rights and the environment and must be banned". said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in Food and Environment. "The world community will never be ready for Genetic Use Restriction Techniques (GURTS) or 'Terminator Technology'. It poses an economic and environmental disaster to the Pacific, Asia and the World".

“Terminator seeds” are widely viewed as a threat to food security and to the livelihoods of millions of growers . Terminator is just one of a range of sterilisation techniques called “GURTS” (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies) being developed to protect profits. The potential impact on fragile ecosystems is enormous and a major threat to the countries biodiversity and agriculture, forests and all farmers.

“Terminator seeds are tantamount to a crime against humanity. The technology has the potential to disrupt the natural cycles of life that have sustained our species through millennia” says Claire Bleakley president of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment.

“It is vital our government keep faith with developing nations, indigenous peoples, and growers throughout the world, by supporting a moratorium on such diabolical use of gene technology, or risk New Zealand becoming a pariah state lacking any credibility as an ethical or fair-minded member of the international community”.

To legitimise Terminator seeds is to deny future generations self-sufficiency by forcing all farmers to buy new seeds each year.

"Moving to commercial sterilisation of seeds is part of a process that risks allowing multi-national corporate’s to control who can afford to farm. It could even be used as a political weapon and determine who lives and dies,” says Claire Bleakley president of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment.

“Terminator is a menacing exploitation of the people’s right to grow and save seed that many consider “God” given. Established traditional seeds are the life blood of a community, they belong to everyone, they have been protected by our ancestors and saved for us to pass on to future generations and must be protected.”

New Zealand prides itself as a nation that has some shared values and will speak up for what is right in contentious issues. The Nuclear Free stand made this world safer. New Zealand representatives to the Convention on Biodiversity must not destroy our standing or betray the shared values of New Zealanders. We must support the established moratorium wanted by the international community and move to ban Terminator Technology.

ENDS

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