Terminator technology for seed production and protection: why and how ?

Gupta, P. K. (1998) Terminator technology for seed production and protection: why and how ? Current Science, 75 (12). pp. 1319-1322. ISSN 0011-3891

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Although farmers in the developing countries would like to use their own harvested seeds for replantation, despite the provisions of Article 27.3(b) of the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Chapter of World Trade Agreement and those of the 1991 Act of Union International Pour la Protection des Obtentions Vegetables (UPOV), the multinational seed companies (MNCs) would like these farmers to buy seeds for each sowing, so that they may get fair return for the heavy investments they make in developing improved crop varieties. Since the national laws may allow the farmers to use their own seeds for replantation, a terminator technology has now been developed, which will render the harvested seeds inviable, thus forcing the farmers to purchase fresh seeds for every crop season. The patent granted in USA for this technology, the genetic mechanism involved and the defence presented by MNCs while advocating in favour of this technology are discussed in this article.

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