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Saturday, January 21, 2017
Send a Valentine to fight 'Zombie Seeds'
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¬†International development agency Progressio is calling on its supporters to send a Valentine's message to the European Commissioner for the Environment, Stavros Dimas, to 'love people and the planet' on 14 February. The charity, which tackles poverty and injustice in developing countries, specifically wants Mr Dimas to step up his opposition to Terminator technology ≠ the genetic modification of plants to produce sterile seeds that poor farmers cannot save to replant the following year. Representatives of the European Commission will be attending a preparatory meeting to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Rome during the week of 18th February where the EU's position on Terminator technology is expected to be discussed. At the CBD meeting in May some member states may lobby to have the current temporary ban on Genetic Use Restriction Technologies, including Terminator technology, lifted. Sol Oyuela, Progressio's environmental advocacy coordinator, said: "We are particularly concerned about ambiguities in the EU's position. On the one hand the EU is a signatory to the CBD which temporarily banned the technology, but on the other the European Commission is pouring money into the research and development of Zombie seeds. These are a variant of Terminator seeds that need a chemical to restore their fertility. Either way, the poor farmers we work with would still need to pay for the privilege of having fertile crops. We want Stavros Dimas to make sure that the EU closes the gap between its rhetoric and research priorities that has allowed Zombie seeds to slip through, and strengthens its position against these technologies." To join Progressio in urging Mr Dimas to ensure the EU strengthens its opposition to Terminator and Zombie seeds this February, visit www.seedsaver.org.uk and use our Valentine template or ideas for a letter. Why not make your own card or letter, or involve your friends by holding a Valentine-making party at your school, community or parish.
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