QI keep reading about how Monsanto's seeds (and other GM seeds) that become sterile and unusable by farmers, so they are forced to by new seeds every season, even though Monsanto promised to never use those kinds of seeds back in 1999. Can you debunk this

I keep reading about how Monsanto's seeds (and other GM seeds) that become sterile and unusable by farmers, so they are forced to by new seeds every season, even though Monsanto promised to never use those kinds of seeds back in 1999. Can you debunk this myth once and for all?

AExpert Answer

We have never developed a biotech trait that resulted in sterile – or “Terminator” – seeds.  And, this is one myth that is easy to debunk.  In October 1999, then-Monsanto CEO Robert Shapiro made a very public commitment in an “open letter” to the Rockefeller Foundation stating that we would not to commercialize technologies that result in sterile seeds in food crops.  We have no plans or research that would violate this commitment. 

 

Following are several links to information on our web site if you’d like to learn more:

 

Posted on March 8, 2018
GMOs will not “save the world,” however they are an important tool in the toolbox for food security and agriculture. Dr. Stuart Smyth, Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, explores this topic in depth in a similar question and response here. “No single crop or food production method is capable of feeding the world on its own, so no, GMOs by themselves will not feed the world. However, as part... Read More
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Posted on March 8, 2018
GMOs are made to achieve a desired trait, such as resistance to an insect or improvement to the ripening process, in order to better meet a customer’s needs. Posted below is a five minute video that offers a great visual illustration on how GMOs are made:     In this response you will also find videos demonstrating genetic modification, showing the basic process for making GM plants. We also encourage you to check out the videos: How Are GMOs Created? and GMO... Read More
Posted on November 27, 2017
Thank you for your question. Similar questions have been answered by a variety of experts on our site. Farmer Mary Mertz answered a similar question, “What are the problems with the seeds of GMOs.” She explains how this question can be answered in a variety of ways and also speaks to this topic firsthand, as she is a farmer herself. “In my opinion, the biggest problem with the seeds is the amount of misinformation that is being circulated out there.  GMOs have a... Read More