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It has been a real blast being a biotech bully

“You are having a blast with this thing!” remarked a friend not long ago about my tirades and harassment of the anti-biotech crowd in this space over the past few months.

No question about it. It has been a real treat taking on groups like the Organic Consumers Association and Californians for GE-Free Agriculture and the like and reprinting their e-mails. They palm their propaganda and are seldom challenged. When they are challenged, they fire back meekly and go looking for others to fool with their half-truths and misinformation. Ask them for peer review science to back up their arguments, and they high-tail it to someone who will listen and not argue. Although most of my anti-GE friends have given up e-mailing me, I did receive one final inquiry from Californians for GE-Free Agriculture's campaign coordinator Renata Brillinger asking if we could continue dialogue on the subject. That included an offer of a column from Californians for GE-Free Agriculture in Western Farm Press. I said sure, as long as I could provide pro-biotech articles for their newsletters. Sorry, I did not just take a tumble off the turnip truck. Have not heard back from Renata.

Most rational-thinking people realize that going toe-to-toe with radicals of any ilk is a losing battle. I guess the past few columns and issues of Western Farm Press have certified me as irrational. (Don't agree so quickly).

Sure the “Biotech Bully” moniker has been run to wear. However, don't mistake the fun for passion. I will forever remain passionate on the subject. I have interviewed too many people, read too much and seen too much in the field for anyone to tell me biotech agriculture is evil. Issues yes, evil no.

I am sorry the organic folks are afraid biotech pollen may somehow damage them and their crops. I would rather have a little biotech pollen on my corn than some of the stuff they put on garden-grown organic corn. Biotech pollen will not spread bacteria and viruses.

When I first began reading about Golden Rice and how it could prevent blindness of 500,000 children each year by increasing the amount of Vitamin A they receive, I guess you could say I became a biotech radical. To stop that from helping children under the guise that decades of testing and retesting biotech crops is not enough is criminal.

Several weeks ago I received a call from a University of Oklahoma law professor who offered Western Farm Press an article he authored with a University of Illinois food microbiology professor about how Bt corn has been discovered to be a primary factor in reversing a trend of horrible birth defects among Hispanic women. It is the most serendipitously amazing science stories you will ever read.

I will not tell you more than that. I want you to read it for yourself on Page 18 of this edition of Western Farm Press. I received it after my last edition went to the printer so it could not be published before the anti-biotech balloting in the four California counties. It was printed in the San Luis Obispo Tribune before the election and possibly elsewhere.

To read that research report and give credence for a second to the not-enough-testing and pollen contamination arguments of the anti-GE crowd is ludicrous.

Win or lose last Tuesday, the fight is not over. Mail or e-mail (from that article to everyone you know. The radicals will not quit, win or lose last Tuesday, and neither should agriculture. Be an irrational radical for biotech.


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