Gene police bees; horse semen on the menu; Vermont raw milk workshops

The wild world of biopunk:

Would London Police really use bees to stem illicit growing? Pic via Technoccult

“…But other factors will drive an underground biotechnology market: the crippling expense of prescription drugs, health insurance, malpractice insurance, and student loan debts.

Chemistry students have been making money manufacturing LSD, MDMA, and other illegal drugs for years. But the demand for black market prescription drug clones could create a new use for the college chemistry lab. Imagine thousands of undergrads manufacturing HIV meds and other expensive drugs for cheap underground resale.

Meanwhile, medical school students, un-licensed doctors, or even licensed doctors trying to keep up with insurance payments will be performing a myriad of unauthorized procedures….”

Using bees for horticultural policing:

“…Thwaites pointed out that the ability to insert genes into plants is now DIY technology available to both the amateur and the criminal. “Policing Genes speculates that, like other technologies, genetic engineering will also find a use outside the law, with innocent-looking garden plants being modified to produce narcotics and unlicensed pharmaceuticals.”…”

AFP: Horse semen on menu at NZ food fest — but is it raw or pasteurized?

AP: Vermont shuts down raw milk workshop

The Complete Patient: David E. Gumpert’s commentary on Vermont’s effort to shut down those raw milk workshops

“…Tonight, Jared Carter, director of Rural Vermont, sent out emails suspending the classes, with this statement:
“Our dairy classes have been put on hold due to a Notice of Warning from the Agency of Agriculture’s alleging that by teaching consumers (or “unlicensed persons” in his words) how to make butter, yogurt, cheese, and other products at home Rural Vermont and our farmer hosts are in violation of Vermont law. The raw dairy processing classes are an important part of Rural Vermont’s campaign to educate consumers on raw milk and to increase exposure for farmers selling raw milk in their community. The warning threatened legal action towards Rural Vermont and our farmers. Rural Vermont does not want to put our farmer members at risk so we are temporarily suspending the classes.

“The Agency’s argument centers around its interpretation of the 2009 Raw Milk Law, in which they claim that it is illegal for farmers to knowingly sell raw milk to customers who plan to do anything to their milk besides drink it.  Rural Vermont believes this violates the intent of the law and does not agree with the Agency’s interpretation.  Nevertheless, until we have solid understanding of the Agency’s official policy, we have decided to suspend the classes.”

I know Jared Carter didn’t ask my advice, and besides, his organization has a great record of accomplishment on behalf of Vermont farmers–it was instrumental in a five-year battle to expand Vermont’s raw milk law the ended with new legislation in 2008 that satisfied most raw dairy producers.

But this situation is so outrageous, I’m going to offer advice anyway: Rescind that suspension order, pronto. Hold that class tomorrow afternoon, or re-schedule it, along with the other classes in your series. Invite television stations and other media to attend, and see if the Agency of Agriculture shows up. Challenge the bozos to go for a restraining order or injunction, or better yet, to come to the class and seek to interfere. I certainly will be glad to be there, and I can tell you, I won’t obey any order to leave the class. I can almost guarantee they won’t even try such theatrics. And when it’s over, you’ll have SRO in your remaining classes from all the publicity you’ll get, which at $20-40 a class, will produce some badly needed change…”

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