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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:05 AM

In the 26 years that I have been fighting the planting of untested genetically engineered seeds

I have never been so convinced that we have finally won.

I was really disappointed that 37 lost, but actually, we who fought for Prop 37 won.

Before the Proposition who really knew about GMO's? Just a few people, really.

But after the No Campaign spent what ~50 million dollars educating the entire population about how they lie and misinform and claim science is on their side, etc. the entire country has had the opportunity to see these folks clearly. They now have the view that just a few of us had way back in the late 80's.

Now a whole lot of people get it. And how long now will it be before the EPA suddenly requires the testing that it should have asked for two and a half decades ago? And when this testing is done....what do you think will happen?

My guess is that it will take 2-3 years and then they will be gone.

I think we finally won.

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Reply In the 26 years that I have been fighting the planting of untested genetically engineered seeds (Original post)
Tumbulu Nov 2012 OP
Live and Learn Nov 2012 #1
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #8
roody Nov 2012 #2
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #7
KT2000 Nov 2012 #3
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #9
Cha Nov 2012 #4
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #10
SleeplessinSoCal Nov 2012 #5
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #11
SleeplessinSoCal Nov 2012 #14
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #16
tavalon Nov 2012 #6
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #12
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #13
Raine Nov 2012 #15
IndyJones Nov 2012 #17
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #18
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #19
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #20

Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:29 AM

1. I'm sorry it didn't pass too and I know how hard you worked for it.

You are right. I had to explain GMO's to several people plus inform them that all the bill asked for was to have it labeled so that we could make our own choice.

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:53 PM

8. So many people now know about the entire matter

and once it starts, then they will begin to ask more questions and make their own observations.

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:04 AM

2. Thanks for all you do. Win or lose

37, we are going to see more foods marketed as GMO free, by the same companies that poured $ into the no campaign.

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Response to roody (Reply #2)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:52 PM

7. Good point

our allies are more clear and we are stronger for this.

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:15 AM

3. yes - the groundwork for issues like this

is education. It takes time but people wil not unlearn what they have learned from your efforts.

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Response to KT2000 (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:54 PM

9. Our efforts we are now a much bigger group

and this in itself is a wonderful thing!

Thanks for being in this group.

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:25 AM

4. Thanks for Fighting, Tumbulu! I only shop at

Natural Food Stores where they don't even sell GMO products but, I want them to have to label their damn existence for unsuspecting people in conventional food stores.

October was National GMO Awareness Month. Two of the stores I buy from here on Kaua'i had informative displays..one had an old fashion popcorn machine for Halloween..popping non gmo Corn..smelled delicious!

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Response to Cha (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:57 PM

10. That is so great to hear

good for you and good for Kaua'i !

Thanks!

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:30 AM

5. You had our support. I'm amazed how the props turned out.

30 beat 38 and 32 deafeated

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Response to SleeplessinSoCal (Reply #5)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:58 PM

11. Thanks, really it is now a national issue and it was not

before. That is really something.

Yes I am thrilled about those as well. But sorry that the death penalty wasn't gotten rid of.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 04:28 PM

14. agreed. But three strikes law prop passed.

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Response to SleeplessinSoCal (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 08:35 PM

16. Yes, that is also great! nt

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 04:24 AM

6. I hope so

Though, in the long view, we are a stupid species and will remove ourselves from Gaia one way or another. Thank you for trying though. If all that is left is the fall, it matters how we fall.

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:03 PM

12. I should try to adopt your

positive POV on this. I'm still shell-shocked at the money spent on the "no" campaign and how many people their lies convinced. I'm hoping to see this on the ballot again in 2014 and maybe by that time we can convince more people.

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:32 PM

13. Yes, you see they have been playing this game

so long and they have gotten away with it so far in the US, but nowhere else. But this advertising stunt that they played has changed it all. Before most people did not know much about it. If they had shut up and let the bill pass, little nondescript labels would have been put on the packaged food sold at the normal stores which 60% of the buyers would not have noticed. The other people, the people who already knew about this have already been buying organic and paying attention. It would have just passed in time and the people who purchase food based on price alone would have forgotten about it.

But now just about everyone has heard about it. And most people are rather alarmed. And the bullying and open lies reveal to all just who these characters actually are. We couldn't have paid them to do this- they paid for it themselves!

Next task- get the EPA to require that the tests be run and normal toxicity and tolerance levels established for both the toxin and the glyphosate residues on the plants.

Then they are over.

Now who knows how many decades it will take for our soils to recover or the microflora in our intestinal systems...who knows? But at long last the tide has turned. And this was it.

I think that all the Proposition 37 people deserve a huge THANKS!!!!

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 06:09 PM

15. That was my biggest disappointment of the election. Still I think that those foods that don't use

GMOs will put that on the label so we will at least know which foods we can buy that don't have that garbage in them. I know I'm not buying something that doesn't say one way or the other.

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 10:46 PM

17. A big THANK YOU for the work you did on Prop 37. I was so disappointed that it failed

but like you, I think that the positive is that now we can start to get the information out there and educate the people of CA about the issue. I am very passionate about this issue, so if you need more people to get involved, please message me.

I think that it is just a matter of time before the labeling is required. However, I think that the NON GMO producers should start labeling their foods as NON GMO and we can all just assume that if there is no label, that means the food is GMO.

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Response to Tumbulu (Original post)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:53 AM

18. Interested in knowing something.

You say that you have been fighting this for 26 years. Are you a scientist and what were the red flags you saw all those years ago?

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Response to underseasurveyor (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:15 AM

19. My first introduction to these people

Last edited Sat Nov 10, 2012, 02:54 PM - Edit history (1)

was when I used to accompany the Plant Breeder that I worked for out of grad school to the Venture Capitally funded start-ups playing with genetically engineering plants in the early 80's. They used to call these people the "gene jockeys" and they thought that they were way smarter than the backwater old fashioned plant breeders. Which of course is so ironic as they always make the claim that they are just plant breeders.....But they needed plant breeders to take the poor poor plants that survived their attacks and turn them into something that could be actually grown and yield a crop. This breeder I worked for was a real genius and he loathed these people. But I thought they were pretty cool, actually and after working out in the dust, dirt and mud a nice clean lab sure looks nice. And the time factor...breeders talk about decades of work as trifling ....the lab people were talking as though years were centuries. I was young, this was appealing.

Then I worked as a scientist evaluating Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) strains for a biotechnology start up. In the early 80's it was assumed that anything genetically engineered would have to be killed before being let out in the environment. There had been a big meeting where all the molecular biologists agreed to never release into the environment anything engineered that was living. For fear of causing irrevocable environmental contamination. During this time my best friend's mother was on the team that engineered the human insulin gene into a bacteria and this was indeed a wonderful advancement for diabetics. This was Genentech's first product. The pharmaceutical folks were very careful, as was the company that I worked for.

B.t. is a soil bacteria from which over 2500 different strains had been identified at the time. They each produce different toxins. Only three of them at that time had been commercialized and approved for agricultural use by the EPA. The company I was working for had the idea of finding ones with higher activity and new host ranges. They wanted to engineer a toxin into a different bacteria to produce the raw toxin, not the protoxin in a crystal form (as the regular B.t. did) to see if it could last longer in the field among other things. In 1986 at the Entomological Association of America (ESA) the molecular biologists cloning the B.t. genes came and met with some of us. They promised us that although they had cloned and just recently succeeded in infecting a plant to express the toxin from B.t. HD1 (the main commercially produced B.t.) that they would never commercialize this one as if they did this strain of B.t. would become useless in a matter of time as insect resistance would surely develop. The scientists had planned on cloning a gene from a different line....And so the first major red flag was when the business people that these scientists worked for overrode them and decided to use that very first cloned gene from B.t. HD1 so that they could say to the EPA that it as "just the same" as the bacterially fermented and produced B.t. and thus not have to do anything to get it through the EPA. (Just an FYI, it normally takes a few years of testing and a great number of tests to satisfy the EPA's requirements). This caused a major shock to us in the industry. Not only were they using the gene from the main line that was produced and already tested and approved by the EPA, but they were planning on putting out a living genetically engineered organism out in the environment without testing any of it's novel qualities. Namely this toxin in a different form. One that behaved very differently than when it was produced by the B.t. bacteria (which I knew from my own work), but making the claim all the while that it was the same. When it was not. Plus they would force the regular people producing the B.t. to find a new strain to commercialize and have to do years of testing to get it approved- this was an outrage. To put salt in the wound, normal B.t.'s cannot be patented, but these guys patented the actual gene and thus all the while claiming it was the same patented it as unique and owned by them. They took something from the commons into the private sector and were going in a mere few decades to make it useless for all.

By that time I had moved to be closer to my plant breeding project and was working as a fermentation microbiologist and later quality control person at the B.t. production facility in Central California. Everyone was expecting the EPA to say "no way go back and do the testing, or find a different toxin to make useless in what 20 years? as the insects will most surely become resistant". To our shock and horror, this did not happen. Somehow the EPA bought this tale that it was the same at the same time that it was unique enough to patent. Not everyone bought it, though. A number of scientists objected and there were some hearings...I went to a few and testified....but in the end the EPA political people pushed this down the throats of the scientists there...and a number of them resigned over this.

Out in the Land Grant universities in the late 80' all sorts of scientist in the Ag Sciences were being gotten rid of for raising any questions whatsoever about these plants. It is amazing and remarkable that the main entomologist responsible for getting the refugia idea (this is where the people growing the gmo plant with the Bt toxin expressing within it would also have to plant a small percentage of their cropland to non engineered crop so that insects that were not exposed to the toxin could be produced on site to breed and thus dilute any resistance that might be building up in the population feeding on the gmo crop) in and in use was actually tolerated and not gotten rid of. But he was the exception. Everyone else that I knew of had to shut up or leave. The Lundberg's hired a talented plant breeder who had been with UC...but was not pro gmo enough for them.....Anyway this purging of the scientists not in lockstep with this industry was another real red flag. And the sort of violence of it reminded us all of stories from the Soviet Union. In fact we all speculated that gmo's would do to farmers in the US what the Soviets did to the poor farmers in the Ukraine and Russia.... Scientists outside of the US were amazed.

This is just the beginning of the long sad tale. I'll write more over the next few days if you want to hear more. But the main thing to know is that the behavior of these characters was then just the same as what we saw here. Opportunistic, and quick to tell lies. Perfect bullies. Although now millions of people have seen this instead of just a few scientists here and there. Oh and all scientists who were not in lock step suddenly became "activists" we simply lost our professional credentials.......just like that - Woosh!

Sorry, it is late and I am tired and hopefully this makes sense. Let me know if you want more stories....I guess it has been longer than 26 years....but I was not actively fighting them until the early 90's. This post is just about red flags, tight? That is for another time.



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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #19)

Sat Nov 10, 2012, 12:32 PM

20. Yes thank you so much.

I love stories and so does a friend of mine who is a producer/documentary film maker. Might you be interested in speaking with her some time? This is right up her alley

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