The Anarchist Golfing Association (AGA) played a night-time tournament June 4 at the Pure Seed Testing (PST) research facility in Canby, Oregon.
The action targeted the genetically engineered grasses PST is developing for golf courses, putting greens, croquet and athletic fields. PST’s aim is to produce a strain of creeping bentgrass resistant to the toxic herbicide glufosinate. In other words a grass which can survive a treatment to destroy plants in the area. The use of such grass would encourage widespread use of a toxic herbicide.
The ecological impact of introducing the mutated pollen of these genetically engineered grasses into the environment is unkown. A study released in May 2000 by a German researcher demonstrated that transgenic traits flow between species. The study tracked bacteria in the gut of pollinating bees using genetically engineered canola.
The only step taken by PST to prevent the dispersal of transgenic traits in the local ecology has been the use of five-foot rye “pollen barriers”.
The AGA responded gamely. In the two greenhouses struck, AGA “golfers” overturned, ripped up and stomped on hundreds of experimental grasses in pots and flats. They pulled up seven plots of non-native, invasive grass species. Identifying tags and stakes were pulled up or rearranged, and signs were modified. The Pure Seed Testing sign was altered to read GE (Genetically Engineered) Seed Testing.”
Players scattered AGA golf balls decorated with the anarchy symbol, and golf figurines.