Site Overlay

Florida’s CRDF plans to let HLB wipe out groves & replace with Bayer GMOs

Having poured most of its resources into expensive Monsanto-Bayer projects to fight citrus greening, the Citrus Research and Development Foundation plans to let Florida’s citrus groves die out and replace them with genetically engineered seeds from Bayer.

That’s our reading of a series of statements by CRDF leader Rick Dantzler and others whose job is to save Florida’s citrus growing industry from the HLB bacteria that’s wiping out the groves.

Dantzler said his Bayer solution is ‘many, many years away’

In December, Dantzler acknowledged that his favored solution, to keep pumping the bulk of CRDF research funds into Bayer, is “many, many years away” at best, meaning that any Bayer product to fight citrus greening won’t make it to market until HLB has wiped out Florida’s remaining citrus groves.

Even then, Dantzler admitted, Bayer has decided that it’s no longer profitable to cater to the citrus-specific agricultural market, which it believes is too small to remain of interest to the $43 billion company.

This means that the CRDF has wasted years of time as HLB continues to destroy Florida’s citrus groves, yet it’s throwing more good money after bad into a giant company that now says the citrus market is too small to be of interest – all the while knowing that any Bayer solution at all will come too late to save Florida groves.

Re-create Florida citrus with Monsanto-Bayer GMOs?

But all is not lost – at least for Monsanto-Bayer and its friends.

The idea, according to those who attended CRDF’s April 28 virtual board meeting, is to wait for citrus greening to wipe out Florida’s existing citrus groves, and to replace the HLB-diseased trees with Bayer GMOs.

CRDF has refused to consider certain inexpensive, off-the-shelf solutions that scientific testing shows the ability to relieve symptoms of HLB, including root vigor, foliage vigor, and fruit quality.

The CRDF board heard an April 28 presentation by the CRAFT Foundation to apply for federal NIFA funding to promote a GMO replacement for Florida citrus groves.

“No back-up plan for genetic solution if conventional breeding efforts fail to produce HLB tolerance,” the CRAFT Foundation told the CRDF board in a slide presentation that obtained. (See slide below) This confirms concerns by developers of other solutions that CRDF is committed to the Monsanto/Bayer GMO.

CRAFT Foundation slide tells CRDF board that there’s “No back-up plan for genetic solution if conventional breeding efforts fail to produce HLB tolerance.”

Another Bayer ‘ultimate solution’

Another CRAFT Foundation slide that the CRDF board discussed shows GMOs as “the ultimate solution.”

“A genetic solution has been recognized as the ultimate solution,” the presentation said in another slide (see below).

“A National Academy Commission also found that HLB’s ultimate solution should be found through Genetics,” the presentation said. “The industry is recognizing the need to change OJ’s standard of identity for the use of citrus hyrbids to leverage their HLB tolerance.

CRDF discussed this proposal to change the “standard of identity” of orange juice to push GMO industry.

Bayer has a long history of life experimentation and final solutions that go back nearly a century.

What will happen to Florida citrus groves as their crops wither and die, and before new trees can be planted, grow, and bear fruit? Proponents of the citrus extinction plan didn’t say.