Are GMOs fertile, or do farmers have to buy new seeds every year?
All GM plants commercialized are as fertile as their conventional counterparts. Nevertheless, anti-GM activists have claimed that companies plan to use the so-called 'terminator' technology to prevent farmers from planting saved seed in the following season. This has now become something of an urban myth.
There are no such seeds in the marketplace. Recognising the sensitivity of the subject, the major GM companies have pledged not to use the technology. Already, many farmers, particularly in developed countries, prefer to buy new seed each year because it produces better yields. In the case of some hybrid crops such as maize and many vegetables, buying new seed is preferable, as the harvested crop does not breed true. This has not prevented hybrid seed being farmers' preferred choice, even in developing countries such as India.