27 April, 2018

This Changes Things!

Corn seeds - among the first seeds I collected for SLOLA -
the ear in front looks like Mohawk Red Bread...
A friend directed my attention, while I was still on my first cup of coffee no less, to a post on Facebook that portends bad news for seed savers.  Assuming that a post in a public forum like Facebook gives consent for it to be reproduced, from the page, Corn Culture, here is the post word for word:

Corn Culture
Warning: Seeds produced using hand pollinations are not necessarily immune to outcrossing! Recently I had some seed of a new and improved synthetic tested for the presence of transgene promoters 35s and NOS. These are the two most commonly used promoters for biotech corn. Seed of this population came from USDA and universities where hand pollination was always used for maintenance. During the process of formation hand pollination was used exclusively to cross each successive generation. Even with all of that effort and money spent, the population is contaminated with 35s (most commonly used with Bt transgenes). 1. It is not reasonable to assume that hand pollinated seed is not contaminated, and 2. It is important to have seed tested from time to time even if one is sure that it could not possibly be contaminated. Frustrating!
This is very sad news indeed. It means that we can no longer grow pure corn and feel certain that we have avoided GMO contamination without testing.  
I am even more angered that we failed in having the city of Los Angeles be declared a GMO Free Zone (2013-2014) - we would have had enough acreage in the city that would have prevented crossing accidents. I fault my simple-minded and naive attempt at politics with the failure. We were also absolutely unfunded and did all the copies and paperwork on our own dime, which limited how much money and publicity we were able to pour into the campaign. Now, in hindsight, our failure then shows our impotence and inability to fight with the monied and well-lawyered corporations, without professional help and funding!! I have often thought of going back to an LA Ban on GMOs, but the money issue prevents me and I've proven I don't have good "fund raising" sense.
But, in light of this, we HAVE to find a way to reinvigorate our campaign and run it this time with professionals and money. This cannot be a penny pinching process. We need professionals and people tuned into the process. 
"More will be revealed," they say.  Stay tuned.  If you are interested in corn, here is a link to a beautiful and well written book on corn that will open your eyes to this amazing plant and how it continues to mystify researchers with its own story.  And another reason we cannot allow our corn to be bastardized by the transgenic craze sweeping through our world today. 

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