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Peruvian potato farmers protest

A coalition of Peruvian potato farmers has written to biotech giant Syngenta urging it to drop research into terminator gene technology.

Terminator technology means that all plants grown from a genetically modified (GM) seed stock will produce seeds that are infertile. Many poor farmers in developing countries such as Peru rely on harvesting some of the seeds from their crops in order to replant them and therefore make more food for tghe next season. Terminator technology means that this age-old process is destroyed, and leaves farmers and their communities open to famine if they cannot afford seeds.

Even though there has been a global moratorium on field testing terminator technology since 2000, research continues on a widescale by all the biotech corporations in anticipation of a change in the law to allow them to sell these GM seeds.

Peru is home to over 4,000 potato varieties, and is the ancient land where potatoes originated. The Peruvian farmers fear the process will enter the Andean potato system and destroy their traditional trade.


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