Staff Reporter

Memorandum to be submitted to Prime Minister

Memorandum to be submitted before meet on biological diversity beginsMeet to decide whether to continue ban, which was imposed in 1999

HYDERABAD: South Against Genetic Engineering (SAGE), a coalition of 50 organisations, will submit a memorandum containing five lakh signatures to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 20 seeking that India continue the ban on Terminator seed technology.

SAGE, a coalition of farmers, civil society groups, consumer movements, scientists, academicians and mediapersons will submit the memorandum a day before the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) begins in Brazil and takes a decision on whether to continue the ban which was imposed in 1999. Terminator is the popular terminology used to describe Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT)

Nation's regroup

At a press conference here on Thursday, SAGE convener P.V. Satheesh said that though it was banned, nations like Australia, Canada and New Zealand had regrouped with the backing of USA that was not even a signatory to the CBD. At the CBD's first meeting in Spain in January 2006, the lobbyists of Terminator were successful in watering down the moratorium on the technology to a "case by case" consideration by different Governments.

Mr. Satheesh said there was simply no way Terminator could be allowed as it would lead to farmers losing control on their seed inputs and ultimately their livelihood too. It would kill freedom of seed-saving practices of farmers in India, in vogue for centuries now, he added.