Worse Than GMO?: Urgent Action Needed!

bioengineering5th June 2013

By Jack Adam Weber

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

Dear Friends,

This is an urgent message with little time left so please take action ASAP. If you do not have time to read this, and you are against bioengineering and GMO, please scroll down to the bottom to take action here and here.

I just received word through the ETC Group, who helped us with the Stop GMO in Mexico petition, that some biohackers in the bay area of California are planning to send out hundreds of thousands genetically engineered weed seeds to people all over the United States. But these are not regular GMO seeds; they are produced through “synthetic biology” technology, which has been called “GMO on steroids.” It is more dangerous than GMO and is so new it is not even regulated.

These seeds, however, are not even bioengineered in the way you might think. The sequence is laid out on a computer and then printed on a DNA synthesizer, and this sequence is then spliced into a seed. The DNA sequences are even more novel and artificial than that found in GMO products to date.

This would be the first-ever release of an organism produced through synthetic biology anywhere in the world, and it won’t be just one organism but hundreds of thousands—sent through the mail and dispersed across the USA. There is a strong international consensus that synthetic organisms are too poorly understood and their environmental impacts are too uncertain to be released into the environment, deliberately or otherwise. Incredibly, the biohackers are funding this maniacal venture through Kickstarter.com

For the last month, the crowdfunding website Kickstarter has hosted a project by these 3 biohackers from California’s Bay Area who are associated with the private synthetic biology company, Genome Compiler Corporation. They asked the public for money to carry out a project to bioengineer a common weed to glow in the dark. What is most alarming is that they also promised to send 100 seeds of their bioengineered weed to anyone who backed the project with $40. To date, they have more than 6,000 backers who have given more than $40 – that’s 600,000 synthetically engineered seeds! – and have raised more than $400,000.

One-hundred and sixteen Civil society organizations have called for a moratorium on any release of synthetic organisms. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has urged countries to exercise precaution. Even the US President’s advisors have cautioned against environmental release. Yet, incredibly, the Kickstarter biohackers have said they will design their synthetic organism in a way that evades existing regulations – meaning, they will intentionally evade oversight, assessment and monitoring. Releasing these seeds into the environment is akin to a high school prank gone stupid.

Specifically, we are asking you to help in these ways, and PLEASE SHARE THE LINKS WIDELY AND RIGHT QUICK!:

1) Put pressure on Kickstarter to drop this terrible project NOW (before Friday June 7, 2013) by signing an online petition and using social media.

2) Support the new “KickStopper” campaign with a donation.

You can also do the following:

A) Email: We also encourage you to send your own messages of concern to Kickstarter. You can email [email protected] or [email protected]

B) Social Media: You can post your concerns on Kickstarter’s Facebook page:www.facebook.com/Kickstarter

C) Twitter: You can send tweets to the three founders of Kickstarter: @ystrickler @perrychen or @cadler. A sample tweet might read:

@ystrickler @perrychen @cadler Please stop @kickstarter from funding uncontrolled release of risky synthetic biology organisms.

Thank you, Activists and concerned citizens! Please act now and share widely!

The Nourish Practice

The Nourish Practice for Deep Rejuvenation

Jack Adam Weber’s “The Nourish Practice” is an easy, guided meditation-Qi Gong practice in radical gratitude and self-love. It is an Earth-based, body-centered practice — at once physiological and mythological — that is deeply relaxing and replenishing, especially for modern-day burn-out syndrome, and requires little physical effort.

The Nourish Practice “resets your nervous system” and fosters a rich inner life. You can purchase The Nourish Practice as a CD or Digital Download here.

Previous articles by Jack Adam Weber:

About the author:

Jack Adam WeberJack Adam Weber, L.Ac. is a Chinese medicine physician, author, celebrated poet, organic farmer, and activist for body-centered spirituality. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. He is also the creator of The Nourish Practice, an Earth-based rejuvenation meditation. Weber is available by phone for medical consultations and life-coaching.

You can connect with Jack Adam Weber on Facebook or by emailing [email protected].


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  • http://Website Lunchtime

    …. Bioluminescent plants are a GREAT thing imo.

    Quit being so paranoid Jack.

    • http://Website jack Weber

      I wish there had been more paranoid people decades ago when GMOs were introduced.

      Regardless, this is common sense not to be fooled by the benign assurances of the biohackers. Dig a little deeper and then tell me I am paranoid. Cheers.

      • http://Website Merlin

        I’m one of the people who dug deeper, and I even think I gave money to this campaign.

        Synthetic biology is a new technology, and just like anything – it can be used for both good and evil. It’s thanks to the synthetic biology we’ll be able to discover new cures for cancer, and hopefully – protect ourselves from bacteria in the future, as the end of antybiotic bacteria is approaching.

        If not synthetic biology, then what’s another option for curing diseases that are growing more and more resistant to antibiotics in the future?

        Now, even if you want to regulate projects like those, it will literally kill the whole hacker community, and slow down the progress. What you’re proposing is like going back in time to 1970-s and requiring people to have a special permission to get a home computer…

        If you want to be really constructive, instead of screaming “forbid!”, you could propose a method to track the spread of GMOs, and a real effect they have in environment. Because even if you manage to stop the synthetic biologists, you won’t be able to stop terrorists, nor superbugs with a petition.

        Oh, one more thing about the glowing in the dark weed – if it manages to escape, and the evolutionary pressure isn’t there to kill it out in the wild, and it happens to somehow dominate the word of weeds… We’ll be able to test our containment methods. It’s far easier to do on this, than on some other – really dangerous – synthetic creation (think – Al Quaeda developing new spieces of corn, which contain poison, and putting it into the american soil)

        • http://Website Necati

          …there have been cures for thousands of years. And the same people that make you think that this is a better option, are the same greedy people that make you think parmaceuticals will help you. Actually, the whole reason why anything is becoming more difficult to treat, is through brainwashing and the administration of new technologies like this. We are tampering with nature, and we are a part of it…instead of purely cultivating it, it is being manipulated for control.

    • http://Website jack Weber
  • http://www.thrive-living.net/ Carolanne

    Thanks for the heads-up. I certainly did not connect the dots when I read this Inhabit article last week: http://inhabitat.com/the-glowing-plant-project-new-diy-kits-let-anyone-create-their-own-bioluminescent-blooms/

    Took action on Avaaz and will post your article in the comment section of the Inhabit story.

    • http://Website jack Weber

      Thanks, Carolanne. Connected dots is a good thing. Appreciate your help with this….

  • http://Website JimK


  • http://www.facebook.com/curlyalex Alex Curly

    Signed, shared, e-mailed, Facebooked and Tweeted. Fingers crossed. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://Website jack Weber

      Thanks for your efforts, Alex! I am waiting to hear if our efforts paid off in terms of getting Kickstarter to withhold the funding. Fingers still crossed.

  • Annie J Ross

    no comment

  • http://Website jack Weber

    For me neither, Annie. :)

  • http://Website jack Weber
  • http://Website George

    When I first started reading the article I thought these people were releasing a super pot weed for smokers that grows like crazy and were going to spread it across the world but alas I was dreaming.

    I suppose glowing pot would be cool.

    • http://Website jack Weber

      George, you must have been stoned. :)

  • http://thunderbirds.3owl.com/ Joe Dead Horse

    The Earth is dying from an overdose of cuteness.

    Ninnies just do whatever they feel like doing with no regard for the consequences of their actions if what they’re doing gives them a sense of personal cuteness.

    If they can feel personally cute about themselves, that’s all that matters and nothing else does.

    Cuteness run amok has become a planetary killer.

  • http://www.riseearth.com/2013/05/over-800-world-scientists-agree-gm.html Bill Noswoo

    Kickstopper, I love you. Tactics:

    1. Do like globalists: make these self-absorbed, overgrown adolescents, and lacking concern for humanity or nature, into poster-boys for GMO. Regular GMO is a crapshoot, too, so why not. Those goofy grins belong on billboards. “Would you buy a used car from me? No? How’s about I reengineer nature then?”

    Globaloney Agenda 21 to keep us broke and small can be stolen for the good of us all. It teaches “care for the earth” – “recycle” – “conserve water” – “save fuel” – “protect the spotted owl.” So throw these moral dunces into the mix and stir. Turn the tables. Globaloney propaganda can do real actual good here. What will the enemy say? Protect the owl, but let scifientists play with nature?

    2. Get computer programmers to lecture on squashing “bugs” in software. I can’t imagine “bugs” in genes being easier. Consequencs are an itsy bit worse than computer glitches.

    3. File lawsuits on insterstate farm terror. If you transport some illegal weed across state lines, it’s a federal case. If you sell raw milk over state lines, it’s a federal case. If you send poison spores through the US Postal Service, it’s a federal case. MAKE A FEDERAL CASE OUT OF IT. Be as creative as evil federal prosecutors who attack whistleblowers on flimflam charges.

    4. Show the “transhumanist-singularity” cult as such. These for-real mad scientits want to play god. Such cult followers belong in rubber rooms with the mad Ivy League Unabomber, who also used USPS for terror.

  • http://Website linda

    i i recieve any in the mail. etc, ill burn them