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Dead on the vine


Caught in a raging storm of criticism, Monsanto announced last week that it would not market seeds that produce plants with sterile seed. Labeled "Terminator" technology by its opponents, the engineered plants would have ensured that farmers had to buy new seeds from Monsanto every year rather than engage in the age-old practice of collecting and replanting `see Seeds of Destruction, Sept. 23`. Monsanto defended the technology as a way of paying for its investments in research, among other things. Monsanto and other biotech companies have already created plants with built-in resistance to insects or the capacity to withstand weed killers.

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