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!

Further articles by Jack Adam Weber:

About the Author

Jack-Weber-150x150Jack Adam Weber is a licensed acupuncturist, master herbalist, author, organic farmer, celebrated poet, and activist for Earth-centered spirituality. He integrates poetry, ancient wisdom, holistic medicine, and depth psychology into passionate presentations for personal fulfillment as a path to planetary transformation. His books, artwork, and provocative poems can be found at his website PoeticHealing.com. Jack can be reached at [email protected] or on Facebook.

 
 
   

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