GE - RECALIM THE SEEDS PRESS COVERAGE AND COMMUNIQUE...
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- Subject: GE - RECALIM THE SEEDS PRESS COVERAGE AND COMMUNIQUE...
- From: Gordon Rausser <firstname.lastname@example.org>(by way of genetics <email@example.com>)
- Date: Mon, 04 Oct 1999 14:42:30 +0100
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Friends, Supporters, fellow crop pullers and of course, our opposition,
Here is a digest of news stories surronding RECLAIM
THE SEEDS actions in the last month. News coverage by
corporate media has been quite interresting despite
the incessant lying of the corporations and the UC
system. Interesting quote in the Sac Bee:
"University officials have been concerned that the
vandals seem to have an excellent grasp of what
experimental crops are being tested and where, as well
as the status of research grants and corporate funding
Time is running out for this growing season. We
suggest that people suit up and decontaminate the g.e.
crops in your area. It's harvest time!
Rememeber. No Justice, Just Us...
More to come,
RECLAIM THE SEEDS
of news stories on RECLAIM THE SEEDS actions: (not
1)"Vandals Strike Corn Plant Project ", Daily
2)"Foes stalking genetic engineering of crops" Sac Bee
3) "Harvest of Fear" SacBee Editorial 9/27
4) "Vandals hit new ag crop" By Caryn Cardello Davis
5) "More crops vandalized at UC Davis" By Ted Bell,
Sac Bee 9/29
6) "Vandals again hit UCD crops" By David
Weinshilboum,Daily Enterprise 9/29
7)Police Investigate Spate Of Crop Destruction, Daily
8) Vandals strike 2 private farm fields: Genetic
engineering protest expands By
Ted Bell Sac Bee 10/1
1)" Vandals Strike Corn Plant Project, Resembles
August attack in Albany
Daily Cal Staff/Robert Terry
Professor Michael Freeling shows UC police the
destroyed corn plants.
(GREAT PICTURE OF ABOVE SECNE ON WEBSITE)
Plants grown for a UC Berkeley research project were
destroyed yesterday by a group considered to be
opposed to genetic engineering.
A group called “Reclaim the Seeds” took responsibility
for the destruction of approximately 1,000 corn plants
at a research field located at the intersection of
Oxford and Virginia streets.
The vandalism occurred sometime between Monday night
and Tuesday afternoon, according to student researcher
Nick Kaplinsky, whose corn crop
Kaplinsky said he did not know why his plants were
targeted. Although many environmental groups have said
“transgenic” plants are a threat to the natural
agricultural process, Kaplinsky said he was not
involved in growing such crops.
Transgenic corn, which is genetically engineered, is
different from naturally growing corn because it has a
sequence of DNA that is not originally found
in its genetic code, according to Kaplinsky.
“I don’t know why they hit this corn; there’s no
transgenic corn here,” Kaplinsky said. “None of the
corn that was growing and none of our research is
commercially applicable. It’s basic research.” Basic
research — the type Kaplinsky is pursuing — aims to
determine the fundamental principles governing a
particular area of science, whereas applied research
leads to practical applications of the discoveries
made from basic research.
An anonymous caller informed The Daily Californian
yesterday afternoon of the destruction of the plants.
The caller simply said there were “photo
opportunities” at the Oxford Tract.
At approximately 2:50 p.m., UC police arrived on the
scene to gather evidence and take photographs of the
One piece of evidence left at the scene was a sign
posted on a stake in the center of the destroyed corn
that read, “Reward — 20,000 bags of organic
corn seed for information leading to the arrest or
conviction of corporate sell-outs.”
The sign resembled a UC Berkeley reward notice for
information regarding the Aug. 2 destruction of 14
rows of corn plants at the Gil Tract research
facility in Albany.
Jill Goetz, a spokesperson for the UC Berkeley College
of Natural Resources, said college officials are
concerned about the increasing number of attacks on
departmental research. “We are distressed when any of
our research is vandalized — it is of major concern to
us,” Goetz said. “We’ve turned the case over to campus
police and they will make a thorough investigation.”
An anonymous statement from the group claiming
responsibility was faxed to The Daily Californian via
Genetix Alert, which relays anonymous information
regarding environmental actions to the news media.
“We are not going to demand anything,” the group said
in the statement. “We are not going to ask for
anything. We are going to RECLAIM THE SEEDS. We are
going to stop genetic mutation.”
Although there are different groups claiming
responsibility for the two recent attacks on plant
research, Kaplinsky said he doubts the vandalism was
done by separate parties. “It would really surprise
me if they were a different group,” he said.
Attacks on biologists and companies that research
genetic engineering in plants are on the rise,
according to Jeffrey Tufenkian, a spokesperson for
“This kind of action is really a part of growing
rejection of genetic engineering; it’s widespread in
Great Britain and throughout Europe and it’s
beginning to grow in the U.S.,” Tufenkian said. “We’re
seeing a lot more of these actions happening in recent
2) "Foes stalking genetic engineering of crops"
By Edie Lau and Paul Schnitt, Sacramento Bee, 9/25
The vandals who knocked down corn and lopped the tops
off sugar beets in research fields in Davis might
have trashed the wrong plants. Their message,
though, was unmistakable: Genetically modified crops
will not fill America's grocery shelves without a
A passionate and sometimes sharply ideological debate
over food with altered DNA has been developing for
years, but mostly confined to Europe.
Product advocates figured Americans would be an easy
sell. After all, changing the genetic makeup of crops
potentially could reduce the use of chemical
pesticides, increase yields and make foods more
Now the debate, which traces its roots to the Flavr
Savr tomato invented in Davis, is catching the
attention of the American marketplace. At stake are
hundreds of millions of dollars in corporate and
government research and investment, scientists'
careers and the very gene pool of future agricultural
Challenges to so-called transgenic crops are coming
from multiple fronts:
* Recent evidence suggests that genes engineered into
crops may have unwelcome side effects, including
killing good insects as well as pests and
transferring herbicide resistance to weeds.
* The European Union requires labels on food derived
from transgenic crops. Under pressure from European
retailers and consumers, Campbell Soup Co.
decided late this summer to forgo selling transgenic
food products there at all. Gerber Products Co.
intends to eliminate transgenic ingredients in its
baby foods worldwide -- even though Gerber's parent,
Novartis Corp., is a bioengineering giant. Consumer
resistance to genetically modified food is
rising in Japan and India, as well.
* Vandalism of presumed transgenic crops, first seen
in Europe, reached the United States this summer.
Activist groups Reclaim the Seed and Cropatistas claim
they've damaged fields in Maine, Vermont and
California. The incidents include crop destruction at
the University of California, Berkeley, and on two
private farms near Lodi.
At UC Davis, vandals struck twice recently. The
researchers involved said they lost about 1 1/2 acres
of conventional corn and about a half-acre of
sugar beets, a fraction of which were transgenic.
"Many of us are somewhat surprised at how the
situation has turned in the past year," said Kent
Bradford, a UC Davis plant physiologist and director
of the Seed Biotechnology Center, a new program to
streamline the making of transgenic plants.
What surprises Bradford is the timing of the protests,
starting just when it seemed transgenic crops would
become an agricultural staple. Perhaps unknowingly,
Americans routinely eat food made with genetically
modified ingredients. "People are still healthy,
nothing dramatic has happened," he said. "We assumed
we were sort of over the hump."
Genetically modified crops penetrated the marketplace
swiftly. In 1995, the entire U.S. corn and soybean
crops were conventional. This year, 54 percent
of soybeans and 33 percent of corn, growing on almost
66 million acres of farmland, are genetically altered.
Though the Midwest grows vastly more of such crops
than California, the technology took root here.
Calgene, a biotech company in Davis now owned by
Monsanto, in 1994 introduced the first genetically
modified consumer crop: the Flavr Savrtomato, a fruit
long on shelf life but, it turned out, short on
flavor. This year, cotton was the top genetically
engineered crop in the state, with the planting of
50,000 acres, 5.5 percent of the total. Farmers also
planted genetically modified corn -- about 11,000
acres, less than 3 percent.
Promoters of genetic engineering argue that
agriculture has relied for generations on selective
breeding to enhance desired traits and eliminate
undesirable traits, and that the new technology merely
does the job faster. But gene-altering techniques are
fundamentally different because they enable people to
give plants DNA from outside the plant kingdom.
The most common altered crops either make their own
insecticide, are resistant to specific herbicides or
both. The insecticidal plants, for example, contain
toxins naturally produced by a soil bacterium that are
lethal to specific insects and no others.
The research pipeline is full of possible new
products. AgrEvo is testing herbicide-tolerant rice on
the UC Davis campus and at about a dozen
privatepaddies in the Sacramento Valley. Among
numerous other U C Davis biotech studies are projects
to make apples crunchier and juicier; to retard rot in
melons; and to grow fruit and nut trees in compact
sizes so that they
require less water and are easier to pick.
If the ideas seem endless, the appetite for them,
suddenly, does not.
"Do we really want to have this in our environment?"
Jeff Tufenkian, an environmental consultant in San
Diego, said he began this year to explore that
question, and decided the answer was no. So he
volunteered to be a media liaison for the underground
protesters who destroy the plants they call
Tufenkian said he considers gene-altered crops a form
of pollution worse than chemical contamination because
the alteration is systemic. "When you're spraying
(pesticides), it's just going more on the outside," he
said. "You're not eating it with every bite."
Farmers are wary of environmental side effects, too.
Joe Carrancho, a rice grower in Colusa County, worries
that genes in herbicide-resistant rice would spread to
surrounding weeds, rendering the spray useless. "What
I'm afraid of is what happens down the road," he said.
The "wake-up call" for U.S. activists on genetically
modified plants was a Cornell University study
published in the journal Nature this spring showing
that pollen from insecticidal corn can kill monarch
butterfly caterpillars, Tufenkian said.
Linda Rayor, a co-author of the caterpillar study,
said she is not opposed to biotechnology, per se,
unlike many who cite her research. "It's clear that
fanaticism on both sides is really craziness," she
At UC Davis, Sharon Kessler's doctoral thesis work was
set back six months by this month's cornfield
vandalism. Kessler said hers was ordinary corn and
her study involves finding naturally occurring
mutations that affect the size and shape of leaves.
"My corn's definitely not scary," Kessler said. "I
understand the concerns that people have about
transgenic crops. I want to make it clear that
they're just hurting innocent people doing
With controversy and negative publicity rising, the
agriculture industry's initial rush to designer crops
is slowing distinctly.
Tim Johnson, manager of the California Rice
Commission, said he doesn't expect genetically
modified rice to be introduced commercially in the
state until 2002 -- if then. "We will grow (altered)
rice in California if and
only if the people who buy our rice say they want it,"
Leaders of the California Crop Improvement
Association, a nonprofit group that provides
certification for seed type, quality and purity,
decided last week to begin a new program identifying
for processors which crops are
genetically altered and which are not.
"We're not taking a political stand that genetically
modified varieties are bad," said Chip Sundstrom, the
executive director. "We are simply respecting
the consumers' concern and right to know what they are
purchasing and eating."
Farmers are stuck in the middle. No commercial grower
of transgenic crops this season could be reached for
comment. Seed dealers guard the names out of concern
for their security.
Carrancho, the Colusa County rice grower and president
of Rice Growers of California, isn't growing
transgenics and doesn't know if he will. "I
certainly don't want to get caught with a rice dryer
full of genetically altered rice that can't be sold
for anything other than dog food," he said.
"If we can prove that this is the way to go, and we
can overcome perception ... I would like to think,
yes, that we are at the point that we can use it.
But I'm not sure yet."
3) Harvest of fear: Destroying research is wrong
response to new crops
Sac Bee <http://www.sacbee.com/>http://www.sacbee.com 9/27
The growing global controversy over genetically
modified crops has quickly escalated from talk to
midnight raids in the fields. The attacks last week on
experimental agricultural plotsat the University of
California, Davis, are the latest in a summer
campaign of vandalism that has swept from Europe to
the East Coast and now to UC research fields in Davis
and Berkeley. By resorting to criminal tactics, the
self-proclaimed protectors of the seeds do their cause
more harm than good.
A biotechnology revolution is sweeping through
agriculture, the result of science's new-found ability
both to identify the genes that control particular
characteristics of organisms and to transfer them to
other species. As with any economic revolution, the
one in agriculture can be as unsettling as it is
thrilling. Already the new technology has yielded
dozens of new crop varieties offering resistance to
diseases and insects and the ability to withstand
broad-spectrum herbicides. But it has raised other
issues and engendered fears -- about food safety,
ecology and farm economics.
These issues aren't new. Humans have been fiddling
with the genetic endowment of plants and animals
since the dawn of civilization. Almost everything we
plant, raise and eat is the product of biotechnology
of various kinds, some as ancient as selective
cross-breeding, some as recent as gene-splicing.
But the new technology has moved at a pace faster than
many ordinary people are prepared to assimilate.
Hence the widespread protests against genetically
modified foods in Europe, and the Luddite violence
against research at U.S. universities.
But vandals in the fields offer no better response to
the changes of a biotechnology revolution than did the
weavers who smashed machines at the beginning of the
Industrial Revolution. The advances of biotechnology
hold too much promise -- for example, researchers are
now studying ways to increase the Vitamin A and iron
in rice to reduce the disease and malnutrition that
plagues hundreds of millions of people in Asia -- to
be derailed by blind spasms of violence. (In their
zeal, the "guerrilla gardeners" in Davis managed to
destroy experiments that did not involve genetic
A technological revolution like this can't be kept on
course by masked fools with scythes; it needs the
attention of thoughtful citizens and careful
regulation by government, the scrutiny of
science and more public education to help citizens
understand and weigh benefits and risks. Violent
attacks on university experiments are blows not just
against the law. They hit at the base of knowledge
needed to keep biotechnology on a safe and humane
4) "Vandals hit new ag crop" By Caryn Cardello
Davis Enterprise- 9/29
Two self-described organic-gardening guerrilla groups
have claimed responsibility for damaging crops and
equipment at two seed companies in Woodland early
The fourth in a series of such attacks in Yolo County,
it is the first aimed at private industries.
The two groups, ``Reclaim the Seeds'' and ``Future
Farmers,'' claimed they destroyed crops of sunflowers,
corn and melons at the Pioneer Hi-Bred International
research facility and the Novartis Seeds and
Vegetables company, which distributes Rogers brand
They also claimed responsibility for disabling an
irrigation system, damaging trellises and
disassembling a greenhouse, according to a press
release circulated by a third party.
The two groups say the crops were genetically
Previous attacks aimed at UC Davis left crops of
tomatoes, melons, corn, sugar beets and walnuts in
ruins, with monetary damages topping $18,000. The
dollar value of the lost research cannot be estimated,
UC Davis contends that the majority of those crops
were not genetically engineered.
A spokesman for Reclaim the Seeds is quoted in the
press release warning that any university or
corporation proclaiming the benefits of biotechnology
or engaging in genetic engineering research also would
have their crops ``nonviolently decontaminated,'' in
the same manner previous attacks have been waged.
Recent vandalism has been aimed at the U.S. biotech
industry and genetic engineering in general, the press
The group protests Pioneer's affiliation with DuPont,
and Novartis' recent signing of a ``strategic
alliance'' with UC Berkeley to continue genetic
engineering research on plants.
Glenn Cole, the research manager for Pioneer in
Woodland, said today that none of the crops damaged
was genetically engineered. Rather, they were being
used for a plant disease-screening trial. The breeding
nurseries damaged were being run as a favor to an
Argentine colleague, he said.
``It's hard to put a monetary number on (the damage).
They were valuable plots to generate data for our
products. Now that data is lost,'' he said.
The company had already lost other test sites around
the United States due to hurricanes
and drought, Cole added.
``It's unfortunate that the group doing the damage is
really kind of randomly, wantonly damaging any and all
crops,'' he said. ``They're not really addressing what
they tout as their attacks on GMOs (genetically
``We don't have any of those kind of things here.
They're just out to do vandalism. Pure and simple
vandals is what they are.''
Joanne Hinkel, the marketing manager of Novartis, said
the damage done there was minimal.
``We couldn't even put a dollar damage because it was
pretty minimal in nature,'' she said. ``We were
wrapping up for the season in most of the areas they
damaged, so it's not really something we need to
Hinkel believed the damage was purely for publicity
because ``we don't even do transgenic work at that
Members of the organic farming activist groups contend
in the press release that most universities and
corporations attacked later say nongenetically
engineered crops had been pulled to sway attention
from a biotech focus.
However, they also suggest that such institutions
label genetically engineered crops so the groups can
focus on the correct ones.
Opponents of genetic engineering contend that it can
have a drastic effect on the environment, destroy
fragile ecosystems and threaten the food supply.
Proponents say genetic engineering of crops can
benefit society by creating produce that better
withstands insect predators and weeds, thereby
reducing the use of herbicides and pesticides.
5) "More crops vandalized at UC Davis" By Ted Bell,
Sac Bee 9/29
The guerrilla campaign against food crops being grown
in experimental plots around the University of
California, Davis,escalated early Tuesday morning
when walnut trees, melons,tomatoes and a weather
monitoring station were damaged.
The vandalism marked the fourth time in the past month
that UC Davis experiments have been targeted by a cell
calling itself "Reclaim The Seeds," which insists it
is waging war on genetically altered crops.
The group has also laid claim to the destruction of a
plot of genetically modified corn at UC Berkeley and a
test field in neighboring Albany. In a communique
issued through a third party based in San Diego,
a person claiming to be a cell member using the name
"Johnna Appleseed" said "five rows of transgenic
melons, 16 rows of transgenic walnut trees, 60 rows
of pesticide-ridden tomatoes and two pieces of
research equipment were removed from the biotech
agenda of UC Davis' Department of Plant Pathology and
for Engineering Plants for Resistance Against
Dr. Rick Bostock, acting chairman of the UC Davis
Department of Plant Pathology, said none of the 178
English walnut trees, the one-third acre of melons and
the tomatoes had anything to do with genetic
He said he was unaware of damage to any of his
department'sequipment except for a small weather
monitoring station in one of the fields.
Bostock said the walnut trees were testing a rootstock
resistant to fungal disease; the melons were part of
an experiment to combat powdery mildew; and the
tomatoes were being tested against black mold.
None was used in the genetic biotechnology programs.
Bostock said none of the crops were involved in the
gene-altering experiments that UC Davis is heavily
involved in, mostly funded by grants from private
Bostock put the monetary damage at $15,000 but said
agricultural anarchy is costing much more."It's a very
significant loss because it can put research back
a couple of years," he said.
There have been a long series of sometimes violent
campaigns against gene modification in agriculture in
Europe and Japan, but the recent raids in California
are a new phenomena in the United States.
Supporters of genetic engineering claim the
technology can make crops more resistant to
agricultural pests and fungus and help cut down on the
use of pesticides.
Critics argue that the few studies done on the
long-range effects of the mutations show startling
damage has been found in the ecosystem, on other crops
and beneficial insects. Tuesday's raids added a new
twist when the guerrillas said the tomatoes had been
targeted because they had been sprayed with
pesticides. This is the first time the raiders have
attacked a crop they knew was not part of a genetics
The area around UC Davis in rural Yolo County has
long been a strong market and political force for
organic agriculture, but no one involved in that
movement has expressed support for or opposition to
the campaign against UC Davis.
Bostock said it would be "cost-prohibitive" to try to
guard every experimental field at UC Davis that is a
potential target because every field is suspect to
people who seem to associate the university with
genetic modification studies.
The key to cease-fire, he said, is open dialogue and
education. "We can do more in educating and informing
the public about the real issues here and the
underlying science. But we can't until they're ready
to sit down, pay attention and listen with an
6) "Vandals again hit UCD crops" By David
Daily Enterprise 9/29
A group opposed to genetic engineering destroyed
$15,000 worth of crops on the UC
Davis campus early Tuesday morning, the third such
attack in two weeks.
The destruction left UCD scientists reeling, searching
for ways to protect 2,000 acres of
land devoted to agricultural research.
The group named ``Reclaim the Seeds'' took
responsibility for the destroyed crops south
of Interstate 80 in a press release forwarded to The
Enterprise by a third party. The group's actions are
intended to raise awareness of genetically engineered
crops and foods, according to the release.
The group claimed responsibility for previous attacks
on UCD crops located west of Highway 113 when a
quarter-acre of sugar beets were uprooted Sept. 14 and
$2,800 worth of cornstalks were destroyed Sept. 16.
The group was systematic in its most recent
destruction, snapping walnut tree saplings in
two, leveling one-third of an acre of ``transgenic
melons,'' and damaging research equipment monitoring
what the group called ``pesticide-ridden tomatoes.''
In addition to opposing genetically engineered
products, the ``Reclaim the Seeds'' group also
opposes the interaction between UCD and other
organizations, including Jackson Laboratories, a
distributor of genetically engineered mice, and
Monsanto, a billion-dollar corporation that produces
genetically engineered seeds.
But UCD professors said the destroyed fields were
non-genetically engineered products.
Rick Bostock, acting chair of the UCD department of
plant pathology, said the destroyed walnut trees were
being researched for rootstock resistance to a fungal
disease, the melons were being studied for powdery
mildew and the tomatoes were being observed
for black mold.
The destruction has debilitated researchers in their
studies, Bostock said.
``They've lost a season of research,'' he said --
something that can't be quantified in
In the Sept. 16 attack on cornstalks, a UCD graduate
student reportedly lost a year's worth of research
since she will have to wait until next season to
replant. The cornstalks destroyed were not genetically
engineered either, UCD reported.
The indiscriminate destruction has UCD researchers
concerned about the safety of all agricultural
research fields spanning 2,000 acres of UCD's land,
Lt. Mike Adams of the UCD Police Department said
police believe more attacks on crops are likely.
``We are concerned that it could continue to occur. It
appears that is the intention of the group,'' he said.
UCD police had stepped up their patrols of
agricultural sites since the initial sugar beet
attack, however, the large area is difficult to
contain, Adams said.
``It is a challenge to protect (crops) that are spread
over a wide area,'' he said. ``We're looking at a
number of ways to do that.''
Bostock echoed Adams' sentiments.
``The administration is evaluating procedures that
need to be taken, but this is a pretty big
area to guard,'' he said. ``Quite honestly, I don't
know what the solution is.''
On the investigation front, Adams said he is
optimistic the perpetrators will be caught.
``I think we have a good chance of identifying the
responsible parties,'' Adams said.
``We have gathered evidence that could help us
identify those persons responsible.''
He could not, however, place a timetable on the
capture of the suspects.
The argument over genetically engineered foods has
raged in Europe, where fear over
``Frankenstein Foods'' has led to the trashing of
several McDonald's restaurants, which
use many genetically engineered products.
Opponents of genetic engineering argue that altering
genetics can have a drastic effect on
the environment and destroy fragile ecosystems.
Proponents of genetic engineering argue that it can
benefit society by creating crops that
are better protected against predator insects and
weeds and reduce the need for herbicides
7)Police Investigate Spate Of Crop Destruction, 10/1
Daily Californian <http://www.dailycal.org/>http://www.dailycal.org
UC police have begun investigating the
destruction of experimental crops at a UC
Berkeley research site earlier this month and
have since heightened security at several
other research locations, according to university and
Police have increased their patrols of the Oxford
Tract on Oxford and Virginia streets after
environmental activists destroyed corn plants there on
Sept. 15. Authorities are now considering using alarms
and surveillance to catch the culprits, said UC police
Capt. Bill Cooper.
In the past two weeks, UC police have reported at
least four separate incidents of trespassing at the
Oxford Tract in Berkeley and the Gill Tract
The sites are more susceptible to attack because they
are open fields as opposed to secure fields, said
Rosemary Lucier, spokesperson for the College of
Police are providing workshops on security for
students, professors and staff at the College of
Natural Resources, many of whose projects are
located at the research sites, Lucier added.
In addition to the recent attacks on UC Berkeley
sites, an environmental group destroyed experimental
crops at UC Davis Tuesday. Police there are
also planning to increase security by using
high-tech surveillance, said Sgt. Kanting of the UC
Police Department at Davis.
Previously, environmental activists were only
targeting a select type of crop, called transgenic
crops. But now they are targeting all types of crops,
said Lt. Mike Adams, who is also with UC Police
Department at Davis.
The broad scope of the attacks has made it more
difficult to monitor the research sites, Adams said.
The UC police on the Berkeley campus have linked the
attacks and are communicating with UC police in Davis,
Cooper said. Nonetheless, finding the culprits has
been a difficult task.
“It’s kind of difficult in a case like this because
there is not a lot of evidence,” Cooper said. “For
this kind of thing the suspects can range from
young to old.”
Physical evidence has been recovered from both of the
UC Davis sites,Adams said. UC police also recovered
evidence from the UC Berkeleyresearch site on Oxford.
The police did say that multiple suspects were
involved in the destruction of the genetically altered
Genetically engineered crops have been destroyed
three times at UC Berkeley research sites in the past
A group named “Reclaim the Seeds,” claimed
responsibility for damaging three genetically
engineered crop research sites, including one at the
Oxfordtract at UC Berkeley this month and another the
site at UC Davis on Tuesday.
Another group, called “California Croppers,” has
declared its members were responsible for two earlier
incidents on UC Berkeley research facilities. The
attacks occurred last September and this August at the
Those involved in crop destruction are recognizing
that the government has failed to do their job in
regulating the genetic engineering of crops, said
Jeffrey Tufenkian, a spokesperson for an
environmental watchdog group called Genetix Alert.
“They are providing a wake-up call,” Tufenkian said.
He added that there have been 11 incidents throughout
the United States in the last three months in which
environmental activists have destroyed genetically
Other groups involved in anti-genetic engineering
activism include “Seeds of Resistance” in Maine, the
“Bolt Weevils” in Minnesota and the “Cropatisas,”
“Lodi Loppers” and “California Croppers” in
Tufenkian said. Additionally, there are similar groups
in India and parts ofEurope.
8) Vandals strike 2 private farm fields: Genetic
engineering protest expands By Ted Bell Sac Bee 10/1
Vandals destroyed experimental crops in Yolo County on
their protest against genetic engineering in
agriculture to fields owned by two private companies.
In a communique released Thursday, a spokeswoman for
"Reclaim The Seeds" -- which had claimed
responsibility for similar attacks at the University
California, Davis -- said the group had been joined by
another group called "Future Farmers."
The communique, signed by "Johnna Appleseed," said
together the groups had destroyed genetically
engineered sunflowers, corn and melons in
test plots cultivated by Pioneer
Hi-Bred International and Rogers NK Seed Co., owned by
The self-proclaimed "organic-gardening guerrilla
groups" also claimed responsibility for destroying an
irrigation system and dismantling trellises in three
greenhouses at the Rogers NK Seed site on County Road
98 outside Woodland.
Yolo County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Wolff said no criminal
reports of vandalism had been filed by the two
companies as of Thursday evening.
Doyle Karr, a spokesman for Pioneer Hi-Bred
International, the world's largest seed corn company,
confirmed that vandals attacked plots of experimental
sunflowers and corn. But, he said,
none of the damaged crops involved genetic
He would not cite a figure for monetary damage, but
said it "wasn't significant."
Officials for Rogers NK Seed/Novartis could not be
"Reclaim The Seeds" has claimed responsibility for
four raids onUC Davis research fields and the
destruction of genetically altered crops in fields at
UC Berkeley and in Albany.
UC Davis researchers have said that not all the
vandalized crops were part of genetic experiment
programs but that the killing of the plants and trees
has been very costly, in terms of both money and
University officials have been concerned that the
vandals seem to have an excellent grasp of what
experimental crops are being tested and where, as well
as the status of research grants and
orporate funding programs.
Thursday's early morning raid was the group's first
local forayoutside of university-owned research
fields. Physical acts of protest against
genetic-engineering agriculture have been common in
Europe but are a recent phenomenon in this country.
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