Monsanto refuses to halt tests

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THE HEAD of the biotechnology giant Monsanto last night decided to ignore public opposition to the "Terminator" technology, which prevents farmers from storing seeds, and let development continue.

Robert Shapiro, the company's chief executive, yesterday met a "working group" of executives at the firm's headquarters. They are focusing on how to respond to controversy over the technology, which renders seeds sterile if they are not planted immediately.

Though Monsanto insisted the meeting was just a briefing,Mr Shapiro will be aware that the firm faces public disapproval of its products andmounting opposition to the Terminator system from farmers in developing countries.