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May 11, 2000


Monsanto and Terminator


AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

From: Greg Conko
> Monsanto DIDN'T call that particular technology the "terminator." In
> Monsanto didn't call it anything. It's real name -- given to it either by
> the US Department of Agriculture or the Delta and Pine Land Company, which
> were the developers -- is Technology Protection System.
> Terminator was a scary name dreamed up by Hope Shand of RAFI, intended to
> scare people into thinking that the thing must be bad. And that strategy
> worked beyond their wildest dreams. To this day, even biotech supporters
> admit, including me at times) still tend to call it terminator because if
> call it by any other name, no one knows what we're talking about. It's
> become part of the common knowledge that terminator technology was
> by Monsanto, which is also not true.
Terminator has become so accepted that I didn't realize that it wasn't
the original name. Having worked in research I know projects can
take on some rather unflattering name given to them as a joke
and the name sticks.

Sorry about attributing terminator technology to Monsanto. I knew it
was USDA.

From a farmers point of view terminator has some
very positive points. There will be no volunteer. That is at least
5 to 10 dollar a year saving on some crops and it could be very
important in double cropping and crop rotations. I also raised
a lot of seed from time to time and using a crop with terminator
genes as a border would result in purer seed.

From the other sides point of view it would keep the genetics
from spreading to the wild races.

The seed saving argument is a pretty poor one because it
is no different than hybrid seed that is no good for planting
the second year unless you are interested in genetics as
a hobby.

Hanging the terminator name on it was a very good move
by the other side. They even have use using it.


Gordon Couger