22 October 1999

Monsantos switch off

FOLLOWING Monsantos decision to drop so-called terminator gene technology to render seed sterile and so prevent farm-saving, it has emerged that the company is investigating an alternative approach which would switch off novel genetic traits if the seed is grown for a second generation. Farm-saved seed would grow, but plants would not show the novel traits such as herbicide or insect tolerance.

Robert Shapiro, chief executive of Monsanto says that no money is yet being spent on such technology, but he does not rule out its future development, The Times reports. &#42