- Genetic use restriction technology
refimprove = March 2008
original research = March 2008
POV = March 2008
Genetic use restriction technology (GURT), colloquially known as terminator technology, is the name given to proposed methods for restricting the use of genetically modified plants by causing second generation seeds to be sterile. The technology was under development by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and
Delta and Pine Landcompany in the 1990s and is not yet commercially available. Because some stakeholders expressed concerns that this technology might lead to dependence for poor smallholder farmers, Monsanto, an agricultural products company and the world's biggest seed supplier, pledged not to commercialize the technology in 1999. [ cite web | title = World braced for terminator 2 | publisher = The Guardian | date = 1999 | url =http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/1999/oct/06/gm.food2 | accessdate = 2008-01-28 ] . In 2003, it reneged that promise by publishing a position paper espousing the use of GERTs. [ cite web | title = Monsanto Breaks Promise to Abandon Terminator Technology | publisher = Organic Consumer's Association | date = 2003 | url =http://www.organicconsumers.org/monsanto/promise042403.cfm | accessdate = 2008-10-07 ] Late in 2006, it acquired Delta and Pine Land company.
The technology was discussed during the 8th Conference of the Parties to the UN's
Convention on Biological Diversityin Curitiba, Brazil, March 20-31, 2006.
There are conceptually two types of GURT:
# V-GURT: This type of GURT produces sterile seeds meaning that a farmer that had purchased seeds containing v-GURT technology could not save the seed from this crop for future planting. This would not have an immediate impact on the large number of farmers who use
hybrid seeds, as they do not produce their own planting seeds, and instead buy specialized hybrid seeds from seed production companies. The technology is restricted at the plant variety level - hence the term V-GURT. Manufacturers of genetically enhanced crops would use this technology to protect their products from unauthorised use.
# T-GURT: A second type of GURT modifies a crop in such a way that the genetic enhancement engineered into the crop does not function until the crop plant is treated with a chemical that is sold by the biotechnology company. Farmers can save seeds for use each year. However, they do not get to use the enhanced trait in the crop unless they purchase the activator compound. The technology is restricted at the trait level - hence the term T-GURT.
Where effective intellectual property protection systems don't exist or are not enforced, GURTs could be an alternative to stimulate plant developing activities by biotech firms.
Non-viable seeds produced on V-GURT plants will reduce the propagation of volunteer plants. Volunteer plants can become an economic problem for larger-scale mechanized farming systems that incorporate
Under warm, wet
harvestconditions non V-GURT grain can sprout, which lowers the quality of grain produced. It is speculated weasel-inline that this problem would not occur with the use of V-GURT grain varieties.
Use of V-GURT technology could prevent escape of
transgenes into wild relatives and prevent any impact on biodiversity. Crops modified to produce non-food products could be armed with GURT technology to prevent accidental transmission of these traits into crops destined for foods.
There is a concern that V-GURT plants could cross-pollinate with non-genetically modified plants, either in the wild or on the fields of farmers who do not adopt the technology. Though the V-GURT plants are supposed to produce sterile seeds, there is concern that this trait will not be expressed in the first generation of a small percentage of these plants, but be expressed in later generations. This does not seem to be much of a problem in the wild, as a sterile plant would naturally be selected out of a population within one generation of trait expression.
As with all Genetically Modified crops the food safety of GURT technology would need to be assessed when and if a commercial release of a GURT containing crop was proposed.
Initially developed by the US Department of Agriculture and multinational seed companies, “suicide seeds” have not been commercialized anywhere in the world due to an avalanche of opposition from farmers, indigenous peoples, civil society and some governments. In 2000, the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity recommended a de facto moratorium on field-testing and commercial sale of Terminator seeds; the moratorium was re-affirmed in 2006. India and Brazil have already passed national laws to prohibit the technology.
Genetically modified organism
Convention on biological diversity
Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
* [http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=5723765.PN.&OS=PN/5723765&RS=PN/5723765 USPTO Patent Number 5,723,765 - method for producing a seed incapable of germination, (claim no. 10)]
* [http://www.cjly.net/deconstructingdinner/020906.htm Sterile Seeds audio broadcast on Kootenay Co-op Radio's Deconstructing Dinner program]
* [http://www.worldseed.org/Position_papers/Pos_GURTs.htm International Seed Federation: Position Paper Supporting GURT development]
* [http://www.banterminator.org/ Ban Terminator Organization]
* [http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=seeds_tmln&seeds_cases_studies-other=seeds_terminatorSeeds Detailed timeline of history of Terminator Technology]
* [http://www.biodiv.org/biosafety/default.aspx UN Convention on Biological Diversity - Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety]
* [http://www.progressio.org.uk/ecomatters/AssociatesInternal/92433/terminator_technology/ Eco-matters website, providing resources from Progressio, Chair of the UK Working Group on Terminator Technology]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Genetic Use Restriction Technology — Dieser Artikel wurde aufgrund von formalen und/oder inhaltlichen Mängeln in der Qualitätssicherung Biologie zur Verbesserung eingetragen. Dies geschieht, um die Qualität der Biologie Artikel auf ein akzeptables Niveau zu bringen. Bitte hilf mit,… … Deutsch Wikipedia
genetic use restriction technology — Abbreviation: GURT A proposed technology applying transgenesis to genetically compromise the fertility or the performance of saved seed of a cultivar or of second generation animals. The intention is to protect the market for the seed producer or … Glossary of Biotechnology
Restriction enzyme — An enzyme from bacteria that can recognize specific base sequences in DNA and cut the DNA at that site (the restriction site). A restriction enzyme acts as a biochemical scissors. Also called a restriction endonuclease. A restriction enzyme is a… … Medical dictionary
Genetic engineering — Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that apply to the direct manipulation of an organism s genes. [cite web url=http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Genetic%20engine… … Wikipedia
genetic engineering — genetic engineer. Genetics. 1. the development and application of scientific methods, procedures, and technologies that permit direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population. 2.… … Universalium
genetic engineering — en jə nir iŋ n the group of applied techniques of genetics and biotechnology used to cut up and join together genetic material and esp. DNA from one or more species of organism and to introduce the result into an organism in order to change one o … Medical dictionary
genetic disease, human — Introduction any of the diseases and disorders that are caused by mutations in one or more genes (gene). With the increasing ability to control infectious and nutritional diseases in developed countries, there has come the realization … Universalium
Restriction enzyme — Glossary Restriction … Wikipedia
Genetic marker — A genetic marker is a gene or DNA sequence with a known location on a chromosome that can be used to identify cells, individuals or species. It can be described as a variation (which may arise due to mutation or alteration in the genomic loci)… … Wikipedia
GENETIC ANCESTRY, JEWISH — Background The human genome refers to approximately three billion chemical letters (nucleotides) comprising the sequence of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in almost every cell of each human being. There are four different nucleotides (adenine,… … Encyclopedia of Judaism