The United States Government has been financing research on a genetic engineering technology which, when commercialized, will give its owners the power to control the food seed of entire nations or regions. The Government has been working quietly on this technology since 1983. Now, the little-known company that has been working in this genetic research with the Governments US Department of Agriculture-- Delta & Pine Land-- is about to become part of the worlds largest supplier of patented genetically-modified seeds (GMO), Monsanto Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri.
Relations between Monsanto, Delta & Pine Land and the USDA, on closer scrutiny, show the deep and dark side of the much-heralded genetic revolution in agriculture. It proves deep-held suspicions that the Gene Revolution is not about solving the world hunger problem as its advocates claim. Its about handing over control of the seeds for mankinds basic food supply—rice, corn, soybeans, wheat, even fruit, vegetables and cotton—to privately owned corporations. Once the seeds and their use are patented and controlled by one or several private agribusiness multinationals, it will be they who can decide whether or not a particular customer—lets say for argument, China or Brazil or India or Japan—whether they will or wont get the patented seeds from Monsanto, or from one of its licensee GMO partners like Bayer Crop Sciences, Syngenta or DuPonts Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
While most of us dont bother to reflect on where the corn in the box of Kelloggs Corn Flakes or the rice in a box of Uncle Bens Converted Rice come from, when we grab it from the supermarket shelf, they all must originate with seeds. Seeds can either be taken by a farmer from the previous season seeds, and planted to produce the next harvest. Or, seeds can be bought new each harvest season, from the companies which sell their seeds.
The advent of commercial GMO seeds in the early 1990s allowed companies like Monsanto, DuPont or Dow Chemicals to go from supplying agriculture chemical herbicides like Roundup, to patenting genetically altered seeds for basic farm crops like corn, rice, soybeans or wheat. For almost a quarter century, since 1983, the US Government has quietly been working to perfect a genetically engineered technique whereby farmers would be forced to turn to their seed supplier each harvest to get new seeds. The seeds would only produce one harvest. After that the seeds from that harvest would commit suicide and be unusable.
There has been much hue and cry, correctly so, that this process, patented suicide seeds, officially termed GURTs (Genetic Use Restriction Technologies), is a threat to poor farmers in developing countries like India or Brazil, who traditionally save their own seeds for the next planting. In fact, GURTs, more popularly referred to as Terminator seeds for the brutal manner in which they kill off plant reproduction possibilities, is a threat to the food security as well of North America, Western Europe, Japan and anywhere Monsanto and its elite cartel of GMO agribusiness partners enters a market.
The Curious History of Delta & Pine Land
Delta & Pine Land is a company that, despite the pine in its name, has deep roots. Founded in 1888, it has its headquarters at One Cotton Row in Scott, Mississippi, nestled between Goat Island and Choktaw Bar Island on the Mississippi River, near the Arkansas border. However, the people running things at Delta Pine are anything but your typical Mississippi black-dirt cotton farmers.
In 1983, Delta & Pine Land (D&PL) joined with the US Department of Agriculture in a project to develop Terminator seeds. It was one of the earliest experiments with GMO. It was a long-term project. The US Government has been serious about Terminator beginning more than two decades ago.
In March 1998 the US Patent Office granted Patent No. 5,723,765 to Delta & Pine Land for a patent titled, Control of Plant Gene _Expression. The patent is owned jointly, according to Delta & Pines Security & Exchange Commission 10K filing, by D&PL and the United States of America, as represented by the Secretary of Agriculture.
F. William Engdahl is Contributing Editor of Global Research and author of the soon-to-be-released book, Seeds of Destruction: theDark Side of Genetically-engineeredFood. He also authored A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics, Pluto Press, He may be contacted at his website: