AHTEG report

The “Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group report on the potential impacts of genetic use restriction technologies on smallholder farmers, indigenous and local communities” was mandated by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The expert group included representatives from Indigenous peoples’ organizations, civil society and industry. The report found that the potential negative effects of Terminator far outweigh the positive impacts and that the ongoing implementation of the precautionary principle was therefore needed to insure that the rights, safety, and food security of Indigenous and local communities are not threatened. The AHTEG report will be discussed at the next Working Group on Article 8(j) meeting January 23-27 in Granada Spain and will advise the Conference of the Parties to the CBD (COP8) meeting in March in Brazil, where Terminator is on the agenda. Click here for more information on these negotiations.

• At the CBD SBSTTA10 meeting in Bangkok, a few governments raised objections to the AHTEG Report on GURTs (Terminator), claiming that it lacked “scientific rigour.” Although the expert group included many scientists, the AHTEG’s mandate was not to provide a scientific/technical assessment of GURTs, but to examine its potential impacts on smallholder farmers, indigenous and local communities who are traditional stewards of biodiversity.

• The AHTEG included diverse representation, including Parties to the Convention, other governments, Indigenous and local communities, international organizations, civil society organizations and the seed industry - including representatives from two companies and one government that hold patents on Terminator.

• The AHTEG Report does not represent a consensus viewpoint on all aspects of Terminator. The report clearly states that it is not a consensus report. Even so, the AHTEG Report was attacked by a few Parties during the SBSTTA10 meeting February 2005 because it did not represent a consensus.