Re: Biotech-> Bio-TYRANNY ?

David C. Harris (
Mon, 08 Jun 1998 00:35:17

Ian, I think you cry "wolf" too quickly.

The granting of a patent does not grant the right to produce something,
merely the right to prevent others from producing it for 20 years. If
collectively we ban such a gene's sale, the patent holder has no right to
sell it. Thus, for instance, there are patents for LSD synthesis that are
not usable to make an openly salable product.

As to such a gene "escaping" into other crops.... If a gene makes a life
form's descendants LESS likely to reproduce that gene, then the gene tends
to die out in the evolutionary competition. Only a strong selective
pressure (like a company producing these TT seeds with OTHER, DESIREABLE
characteristics) would given them even a brief existance in the single
generation that would live. Imagine: if the TT gene got into any
individuals of another variety or species, the TT-inheriting individuals
would live their life and produce absolutely NO descendants. End of
problem, no?

David C. Harris,, residing in Palo Alto, California.

At 04:11 PM 98/6/7 -0400, Ian Goddard wrote:
>The following report makes a seemingly compelling
>case for banning a type of genetically altered
>seed, known as the "Terminator Technology" (TT).
>I'd like to see counter arguments to it
>before I make up my mind.

>Here's the
>picture the report painted for me:
>In a nutshell, the TT causes a genetically
>altered crop to yield only seeds that will
>NOT grow. This ensures that farmers cannot
>resell hybrid strains and that the farmers
>cannot produce their own seeds and thereby
>become independent of the seed company.