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Anti-GE Saboteurs Strike Again in California

Anti-GE Saboteurs Strike Again in California

Frontline Information Service - News 5/17/01
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Activists Destroy GE Crops at Research Facility
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GENETIX ALERT NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Denny Henke
Cell: 901.438.9907 Office: 901.458.9907
Date: May 17, 2001

Activists Destroy GE Crops at Research Facility in Brentwood, CA

Brentwood, CA - On May 16th, 2001 anti-biotech direct actionists destroyed
transgenic strawberry, tomato, and onion plants were uprooted and destroyed.
According to the communique "a group dedicated to the right to good food,
untainted by genetic engineering, occupied and acted against one DNA Plant
Technology research facility."

The communique continues "DNA Plant Technology Holdings was recently
acquired by ELM, a multinational bioengineering corporation that also owns
Seminis Vegetable Seeds, the largest distributor of fruit and vegetable seeds
in the world. DNAP is currently growing more than 15,000 acres of genetically
engineered field crops crops under in Mexico and the US, mostly without the
public's knowledge. DNAP has more than 50 patents for such technologies as
promoters, gene introduction, selectable markers plant regeneration."

This action, the 3rd of 2001, comes nearly 2 months after an action by OSU
students in Corvallis, OR. Since November 1998 there have been over 40
anti-genetic direct actions in North America. The direct actionists continue
to maintain that biotechnology is completely unnecessary and is being
developed at the expense of human and ecological health solely to increase
the profits of large multinational corporations. With the North American
growing season at hand it is likely that direct actions against facilities producing
and testing genetically engineered organisms will resume.

The activists link the direct action movement against biotechnology to the
developing movement against global capitalism stating that "In recent years,
more and more Americans are becoming fed up with corporate secrecy and
lack of accountability for the changes they make in communities, human
health, and the environment. The backlash against the WTO was one sign
of this dissatisfaction, and ongoing anti-biotechnology test plot sabotage
actions are another. Upset by what we were learning of the health and
environmental ramifications of Roundup Ready technology and of the
business practices of Seminis and DNAP in particular, we rounded up
our favorite animal friends and decided to take action in spite of their
boasted security measures."

The communique concludes "Safely outside on DNAP's poisoned earth,
we turned our attention to a half acre test plot of mature onion plants that
deserved to share the tomatoes' and strawberries' fate. Our frenzy of
uprooting took down another experiment in 5 minutes. A good nights work
lying in shreds behind us, we melted into the night the way we had come."

*Attached is copy of the communique.
--- Begin communique ---

In the early morning of May 16th, 2001 a group dedicated to the right to
good food, untainted by genetic engineering, occupied and acted against
one DNA Plant Technology research facility. This research location is
located outside of Brentwood CA on Balfour Road, 1/2 mile east of
Highway 4. We prevented further steps in transgenic crop experiments,
within this entity, from occurring this season. Transgenic strawberry, tomato,
and onion plants were uprooted and destroyed.

This is not the first time that people have taken direct action against
transgenic strawberry experiments: the first anti-GE action in the US took
place less than a mile from the DNAP facility. Nighttime gardeners targeted
GenTech's Frostban strawberry, setting the stage for more than 50 anti-GE
actions to date.

DNA Plant Technology Holdings was recently acquired by ELM, a multinational
bioengineering corporation that also owns Seminis Vegetable Seeds, the largest
distributor of fruit and vegetable seeds in the world. DNAP is currently
growing more than 15,000 acres of genetically engineered field crops crops
under in Mexico and the US, mostly without the public's knowledge. DNAP has
more than 50 patents for such technologies as promoters, gene introduction,
selectable markers plant regeneration. One gene silencing technology,
trademarked Transwitch, allows agribusinessmen to switch genes on and off at
will, for example the gene responsible for ethylene production in tomatoes.
The Flavr Savr tomato utilizes this technology to create a tomato with a shelf
life of two to three weeks. Like most applications of genetic engineering, this
trait benefits neither the workers who grow the tomato nor the people who
buy these pale-pink, plastic-wrapped, nutritionally zapped tomatoes.

In 1999, DNAP entered into a "technology collaboration agreement" with
Monsanto in order to adapt Monsanto's Roundup Ready technology to
strawberries. Faced with the phase-out of methyl bromide (a highly-toxic
herbicide/ soil fumigant) in 2003, DNAP hopes to force chemical-dependent
farmers to adopt this new weed control technology. Meanwhile, the "fruits
of such manipulations are filling up the shelves of our supermarkets. They
come with a cheap price per pound, but hold the least nutritional value.

DNAP has pushed the EPA to change its standards for allowable worker
exposure to Roundup. Since workers enter the fields two times per week
to pick the berries, their exposure to this toxic and carcinogenic herbicide
would be greatly increased by the implementation of this technology. In
addition, Roundup Ready technology results in the fields being literally
saturated with poison, with dire effects on the health of the soil. Once again,
the giants of genetic modification are sacrificing the health of the people and
the land for a pure profit motive.

Now DNAP is moving into so-called "second wave" research which is trying
to incorporate drugs into the tissues of food plants. But our resistance is
rooted deep in the land, and as long as they attempt to develop these alter
our food, our resistance will continue.

Researching this company and it's facilities, we discovered an unusual level
of secrecy surrounding it's operations. DNA Plant Holdings was conspicuously
absent from tax assessors listings, had no posted signs of any sort in this
otherwise neighborly agricultural community, and otherwise went to great
lengths to conceal the nefarious nature of their business. We unearthed a
report for DNAP stockholders that boasted of the site's remoteness and
inaccessibility to public view. Seminis, also owned by ELM, has been a
frequent target of anti-biotechnology actions, and the DNAP report reflected
this paranoia. They even reassured the stockholders that the test plots were
protected by security guards against 'fauna trespassers'.

In recent years, more and more Americans are becoming fed up with corporate
secrecy and lack of accountability for the changes they make in communities,
human health, and the environment. The backlash against the WTO was one
sign of this dissatisfaction, and ongoing anti-biotechnology test plot sabotage
actions are another. Upset by what we were learning of the health and environmental
ramifications of Roundup Ready technology and of the business practices of
Seminis and DNAP in particular, we rounded up our favorite animal friends
and decided to take action in spite of their boasted security measures.

On a dark night we slipped through the open field surrounding the
experimental facility. Working less than 50 feet from a brightly-lit house equipped
with motion sensor/security light apparently aimed at the DNAP fields, we entered
the 1-acre strawberry test plot. True to Roundup Ready test protocol, the
plants were enveloped in a dense carpet of weeds, ready for application of
the poisonous herbicide. We removed an acre of the enormous, leathery
Frankenplants to a short new life- in plastic bags full of bleach to prevent
any possibility of survival and replanting.

We next proceeded to one of the two greenhouses of DNAP's tomato
experiments. We took a walk right through the walls, found a 1/4 acre of
4-foot tall fruiting tomatoes and dispatched them to their rightful dwelling
place in hell. We invalidated the year's experiment in less than 10 minutes,
and caused some uncounted amount of economic damage.

Safely outside on DNAP's poisoned earth, we turned our attention to a half
acre test plot of mature onion plants that deserved to share the tomatoes' and
strawberries' fate. Our frenzy of uprooting took down another experiment in
5 minutes. A good nights work lying in shreds behind us, we melted into the
night the way we had come.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^END COMMUNIQUE^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

GenetiX Alert is an independent news center that works with other
above-ground, anti-genetic engineering organizations. GA has no knowledge
of the person(s) who carryout any underground actions. GA does not advocate
illegal acts, but seeks to explain why people destroy genetically engineered
crops and undertake other nonviolent actions aimed at resisting genetic engineering
and increasing the difficulty for entities which seek to advance genetic engineering
or its products. GA spokespeople are available for media interviews. An archive of
anti-biotech direct actions can be found at http://tao.ca/~ban/ar.htm

Reporters and other interested parties may contact GenetiX Alert at:
cell phone: 901.438.9907
office phone: 901.458.9907
email: genetixalert@tao.ca
Web: http://tao.ca/~ban/gapo.htm
787 Ellsworth
Memphis, TN 38111 USA
contact: Denny Henke
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Bioinvasions (bioinvasions@iatp.org) Posted: 05/18/2001 By
resist@best.com
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