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  • Rickinreallife's picture
    I agree, a great question. I too am also wondering why there is such widespread belief that commercial seed varieties today contain a terminator gene. I am having trouble reconciling condemnation of technology use agreements whereby producers agree not to save seed for replanting, with the terminator gene theory. If all the crops had terminator technology that render seeds sterile, why the need to have a technology agreement not to replant the seeds. As has been repeatedly established on this site, all the handful of patent infringement cases have never occurred because of cross pollination during a growing season. The infringement occurs when the producer deliberately propogates the trait by spraying roundup to eliminate the non roundup ready plants and repeats with replanted seeds over successive growing seasons. If the biotech seeds contained terminator technology, how could the producer have grown them in succeeding years.

    There seems to be a logic that prior to biotech products that first became widely commercially available in the mid 1990's, farmers rarely purchased seed for their planting needs each year, instead saving seed from the previous year's crop. Certainly seed saving in soybeans was an option, but its prevalence was low even prior to biotech even though hybrids having PVPA patents often allowing seed saving for the growers own personal use. Seed saving of hybrid corn would be non-sensical since the seed would not retain its hybrid characteristics but would revert back to parental phenotypes in the field. There have been no commercial biotech wheat varieties. Seed saving for wheat is probably the most common, although even here some producers prefer to purchase seed each year or on a regular schedule to avoid loss of deterioration of genetic purity over time. Also, wheat producers will frequently purchase new seed varieties as they come along and test them on a portion of their land, and abandon old varieties in favor the new ones if shown superior for their farming situation.
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    Community Manager
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