Today is the 25th anniversary of the world’s first anti-GMO sabotage action. It was against the release on strawberries of a genetically-engineered bacterium the inventor called iceminus and the company Advanced Genetic Sciences called Frostban. I co-ordinated the campaign and the Ecotage, and the BBC considers me a World Historic Figure for it as “The World’s First GMO Crop Thrasher!”
The campaign didn’t stop two tests by the company and a third in Tule Lake, CA with potato chunks dipped in the stuff and then planted by the UC Berkeley inventor. But all three tests were hit by saboteurs called The Strawberry Liberation Front and Mindless Thugs Against Genetic Engineering.
But a year later the project co-ordinator for AGS told me that we didn’t know how successful we had been. Their investors were all bailing ship because they thought we would never give up and so they thought the return on their investments would be indefinitely delayed. A year later AGS was bankrupt. Over 30 other tests by other people were going to be conducted in the next two years. There have been no more open air tests of GMO microbes anywhere on Earth since 1987 thanks to this campaign! One of the most successful and important (and grossly under-reported) environmental battles ever waged, yet never discussed.