Open Letter to President Obama by biotechharm


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									                                     Sandra L. Trend
                               7352 Huntington Square Lane
                                Citrus Heights, CA 95621

January 11, 2010

President Barack Obama
The White House
1800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

In December of 2009 I received a reply letter from the USDA in answer to my February 23, 2009
letter to them. I am most grateful the White House had contacted the USDA; because without
this intervention, I doubt I would have ever heard from them. Below you will find page 1 of the
2 page letter from the USDA. This page concerns me greatly.
My February 23, 2009 letter to the USDA was written with much forethought and I do not take
the issues I presented to them lightly.

The lack of concern the USDA has; concerning safety in the biotechnology industry; IE: non-GE
(genetically engineered) organisms being used in the production of bio-control products (for use
on human and/or animal feed, ornamental crops and/or used for insect control) is most alarming.

There is a given danger to human health when some non-GE organisms (microorganisms; living
bacteria and fungi) that are used for bio-control; as there is scientific documentation that there
are “cross-over” infections to humans from many plant/soil/insect diseases. Those who work in
the industry are at the greatest risk for contracting an illness and/or disease from one of the
organisms. The USDA has had knowledge of this fact and merely choses to ignore this.

I suppose one can only assume the USDA’s reasoning (and other governmental agencies as well)
for turning a blind eye to “cross-infective” microorganisms is for “advancement in science”.
However, when you are the one whose life has been affected and ruined forever because your
health will never return as was once known; then one feels they were nothing more than a guinea
pig or a lab rat for the “advancement in science”.

President Obama, the biotechnology industry is out of control. Two prime examples of this are
the cases of David Bell and Becky McClain (although there are numerous others). David Bell
worked at a research and development biolab as an Assistant Researcher and was exposed to
known and unknown microorganisms as well as chemicals, while Becky McClain; working as a
molecular microbiologist was exposed to virus’s in a different area of biotech research and
development. Bell and McClain became extremely ill because of occupational exposures from
their workplace environment’s.

In both cases; Bell and McClain were not afforded their civil and judicial right’s in knowing
what they were and had been exposed to under the Federal Hazard Communication Act as well
as California and Connecticut labor laws of; Employee Right-To-Know of hazards in the

Complicating this are the issues of “Trade Secrets” and “Non Disclosure Agreements”; which
prevent worker’s in the biotech industry and the public from discovering the reality of numerous
serious human health and safety problems.

The Becky McClain case, like David Bell’s show the systemic failure of all governmental
agencies (USDA, FDA, EPA and OSHA) in assuring safety in the workplace which is then
carried over to the destructive deregulation in the workers’ compensation system. The difficult,
if not IMPOSSIBLE, task of confirming workplace injuries and illness’s in the biotech industry;
under Federal and state legal statutes, including workers compensation laws are excluding
worker’s in the biotechnology and nanotechnology industry their right’s to a safe occupational
and working environment.

The above does not even address the issue of products being developed and distributed without
the proper oversight from governmental agencies.

Last, but certainly not least, in the enclosed letter to the USDA you will find a statement made by
my son’s former employer concerning her company’s efforts to get the product, Serenade
registered. I am most concerned as there seems to be political interference in the biocontrol
product registration process. WHY are member’s from Congress involved?

       “OK, Serenade took 20 months for registration, actually that seems fast to me now, but at
       the time...where was I? I started up the company in ‘95, I raised my first venture capital
       in ‘97, submitted the package for Serenade in ‘98 ... 2000 it still wasn’t approved,
       investor’s were on my tail. I raised 20 million at that point. Investor’s were hounding me,
       they thought I was incompetent and... and what’s going on? And so, finally what they did
       was they actually called their congress people on their own to rattle around and put
       pressure on the agency to approve Serenade. That does not endear you to the agency,
       actually it’s counter productive to do... to do that actually, but in this case I couldn’t hold
       back my investors there was... they were the money people and that’s just the way it was.”

Mr. Obama, there seems to be an awful lot of conflicts of interest going on here. Numerous
member’s of both state and Federal governmental agencies sit on biotech industries
commission’s and boards. Many of them, I believe, have financial interest/s in biotechnology

Thank you for your valuable time Mr President. Please find my reply January 11, 2010 letter to
the USDA (including enclosures) following this letter to you. This letter goes into greater detail.


Sandi Trend

cc:   David Bell


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