- The Delta & Pine Land Company of
Scott, Mississippi and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announce
they have been granted a patent on a new technology that genetically alters
a seed so that it will not germinate if planted a second time. It is designed
to prevent seed saving by farmers and applies to plants & seeds of
all species, bot genetically engineered and traditionally-bred seeds.
- By some estimates, up to one-third of
all soybean fields in the U.S. Midwest are planted with saved seeds, up
to 50% of soybeans in the South are planted with farmer-saved seeds, and
many North American wheat farmers rely primarily on seeds they save and
buy commercial seeds only every few years. With the patented technology,
seed companies would be able to control reproduction of even self-pollinating
seeds, such as wheat, rice, cotton, soybeans & oats, and farmers could
lose the ability to save seed from their harvests.
- The technology is now being tested on
cotton and tobacco, says USDA molecular biologist & primary inventor