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Terminating the Myth—Setting the Record Straight

July 30, 2009
I was scrolling through a list of blogs that mention genetically modified (GM) foods when a post caught my eye. The post was on a blog called, “Jesus Lives,” and the author of the post, “Prophecy News Watch.”

I’m always pleased to see groups discussing GM foods, however I think it’s important to get the facts right, particularly when I came to the following paragraph,

“There are other issues — the question of the introduction of ‘terminator’ genes, already played out in the case of GM cotton, and the control that it gives to seed corporations must also be revisited.”

There are a few facts that need to be corrected.

  • Terminator genes are not currently being used in cotton

  • Nor are they being used in any commercial crop varieties

  • Many biotechnology companies have committed themselves to never using terminator technology

One company has this to say about terminator technology on their Web site,

“has never developed or commercialized a sterile seed product. Sharing many of the concerns of small landholder farmers,” furthermore they “made a commitment in 1999 not to commercialize sterile seed technology in food crops. We stand firmly by this commitment. We have no plans or research that would violate this commitment in any way.”

They pledge,

“With the growth of modern agricultural practices and crops that generate ever-increasing yields, we are helping farmers around the world to create a better future for human beings, the environment, and local economies.”

It sounds great, it’s all about helping people. And what is better than helping people? My question for “Jesus Lives” would be, “What would Jesus do?” Create a better future that will save millions from starvation and make global agriculture more productive and sustainable, or shun a technology and allow millions to die?