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Take Action to Stop Terminator Seeds Demands WCC General Secretary

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  • Teresa Binstock
    To: Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:59 AM Subject: [Ipcb-net] *Take Action to Stop Terminator Seeds Demands WCC General Secretary* 15 May
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 1, 2006
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      Sent: Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:59 AM
      Subject: [Ipcb-net]

      *Take Action to Stop Terminator Seeds Demands WCC General Secretary*

      15 May 2006

      The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches today issued a
      strong condemnation of Terminator seeds and called on churches and
      ecumenical partners to take action to stop the technology. The Rev Dr
      Samuel Kobia warned that sterile seed technology would increase
      economic injustice all over the world.

      The WCC's news release is available here: http://www.oikoumene.org/

      World Council Of Churches
      Take Action to Stop Terminator Seeds Demands WCC General Secretary

      The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Rev. Dr
      Kobia, called upon churches and ecumenical partners to take action to
      stop "terminator technology". "Applying technology to design sterile
      seeds turns life, which is a gift from God, into a commodity.
      Preventing farmers from re-planting saved seed will increase economic
      injustice all over the world and add to the burdens of those already
      living in hardship," stated Kobia.

      He underlined: "Terminator technology locates food sovereignty, once
      the very backbone of community, in the hands of technologists and
      large corporations. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates
      that 1.4 billion people depend on farmer-saved seed as their primary
      seed source.
      All Christians pray "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt 6:11).
      That this profoundly material request appears in this profoundly
      spiritual prayer, signals for us the centrality of food in our lives,
      as well as the indivisibility of the material and spiritual in the
      eyes of God. It is of great concern to me that life itself is now
      often thought of and used as a commodity."

      Governments upheld the international de facto moratorium on
      "Terminator technology," which refers to plants that are genetically
      engineered to produce sterile seeds, about a month ago at the Eighth
      meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the UN's Convention
      on Biological Diversity (CBD) held in Curitiba, Brazil. They finally
      gave in to strong pressure by social movements and civil society
      groups and a number of governmental delegations supporting their
      claims. The UN conference was held in Brazil only weeks after the
      WCC's 9th General Assembly in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where delegates
      urged the WCC to respond to the challenges posed by science and

      The call for a ban on sterile-seed technology had taken center stage
      at the two-week meeting in Curitiba. Thousands of peasant farmers,
      including those from Brazil's Landless Workers Movement (Movimento Sem
      Terra), protested daily outside the conference center to demand a ban.
      The women of the international peasant farmers' organization Via
      Campesina staged a silent protest inside the plenary hall on 23 March,
      holding hand-painted signs with the words "Terminar Terminator con la
      Vida" ("Terminate Terminator with Life").

      Brazil and India have already passed national laws to ban
      Terminator -
      and other campaigns to prevent commercialization of seed sterilization
      technologies will follow in various countries around the world.
      Protestant churches in Germany lobby for a national law and European
      Union legislation to ban terminator seeds. They also argue against the
      patenting of terminator technologies.

      "Though the international moratorium on Terminator was upheld at
      the battle to block the technology is now moving to the national level.
      This requires us to alert our member churches and ecumenical partners
      to be vigilant in their respective countries," explains the WCC
      general secretary who is confident that this concern unites Christian
      churches and people of other faiths who care for small scale farmers
      and God's creation.

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