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Ottawa, June 6, 2007 – On June 1, 2007 the United States Justice Department gave the green light for Monsanto’s $1.5 billion takeover of the world’s largest cotton seed company, Delta & Pine Land (D&PL) — the US company that developed and patented the world’s first Terminator seed technology.

Terminator seeds are genetically engineered to be sterile after first harvest and were developed to stop farmers from saving seed.

“As the biggest seed company in the world, Monsanto stands to gain the most by incorporating Terminator technology into all its seeds, thus forcing farmers to buy new seed every year” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

Monsanto will now own Delta & Pine Land’s greenhouse tests of Terminator seeds and rights to its Canadian patent on Terminator granted on October 11 2005. D&PL has long vowed to commercialize Terminator, targeting rice, wheat and soy in particular.

Monsanto’s deal comes just one day after Bill C-448, a Private Members Bill which would ban Terminator in Canada, was tabled by Alex Atamanenko, Agriculture Critic for the New Democratic Party and MP for B.C. Southern Interior.

“Monsanto’s purchase of Terminator is a nightmare scenario for the world’s farmers,” said Sharratt. “A ban on in Canada is urgently needed to stop Monsanto from ever using Terminator. Canadian farmers need our Government to take a stand against this shocking technology.”

Monsanto tried to buy D&PL in 1998 but abandoned the deal. In 1998 the first Terminator patent (D&PL’s) was discovered and by 1999 the international uproar over Terminator had forced Monsanto to pledge not to commercialize the technology. In 2006 Monsanto was caught backtracking on that pledge.
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For more information: Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267