Friends of the Earth International and ETC Group
29 November 2018, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt: Today, the UN has made a significant global decision on how to govern a high-risk, new genetic engineering technology – gene drives.
The genetic modification of plants to produce sterile seeds (dubbed "Terminator" technology by ETC Group) has been widely condemned as an immoral application of biotechnology. If commercialized, Terminator would prevent farmers from re-using seed from their harvest, forcing them to return to the commercial seed market for every planting. But Terminator is just one of a range of technological and legal strategies that corporations are developing to exercise monopoly control over the stuff of life -- strategies that ETC Group refers to as "New Enclosures." Non-patent approaches, such as genetic trait control, satellite surveillance, and digital rights management software could be used to impose new monopolies beyond intellectual property as the predominant means of corporate control in the 21st century.