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Letters to the Editor

Wednesday February 21, 2001

UC may have a conflict when it comes to biotech 




It must be a rough season for University of California’s apologists in their office of Community Relations.  

Not only do they have to explain UC’s refusal to grant the Depot for Creative Reuse a workable extension but now they have to rationalize spraying herbicide on Gill tract right next to an elementary school and their own family student housing. 

And of course they can’t admit that both decisions seem to correlate with UC’s deal with Novartis Corporation, a biotech conglomerate. Since the signing of this devil’s pact, UC has forged headlong toward a future of genetic engineering and chemical agriculture.  

In fact, shortly after the signing it attacked both student run programs teaching organic farming methods. 

So it’s hardly comforting when the College of Natural Resources which receives the money from Novartis Corporation “believes that there is no danger to the children” from the spraying of glysophate during school hours.  

In fact, it’s downright uncomfortable that the University of California has a financial interest in supporting rather than rigorously and unbiasedly testing this new and frightening technology of genetic engineering (that creates crops resistant to glysophate sprayings (among other frightening possibilities). 

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the building from which UC is trying to evict our beloved Depot for Creative Reuse just happens to also be used for biotech research. Smell a florescent rat? 


Matt Azzel