So-called suicide or terminator seeds, which germinate only once forcing farmers to buy new seeds each harvest, appeared in the marketplace in 2004 and since then no less than 450 NGOs around the world have expressed opposition to their use.
Those NGOs have just released a report based on data from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), ministries of Agriculture around the world, research and academic centers, and farmer associations which shows the exact cost, in losses to family farmers, of the use of terminator technology.
Maria José Guazzelli, of the Brazilian NGO, "Centro Ecológico," says: "Just the soy farmers in Brazil will lose US$ 401 million annually."
That number is calculated by considering that out of the 22 million hectares used for soy cropland, 70% is family farmland.
"Family farmers always save seeds for the next planting season. With terminator technology seeds that will not be possible and they will be forced to buy new seeds," she explains.
Guazzelli goes on to say that in Argentina, with a smaller area of soy cropland (around 14 million hectares), but the same percentage of family farms (70%), the losses would reach US$ 272 million.