(Published Friday, June 17, 2005)
This week, some 15,000 biotechnology executives are gathering in Philadelphia for their annual convention, dubbed ‘BIO 2005.’ BIO, more properly the Biotechnology Industry Organization, is the largest biotechnology lobbying organization in the world. Its leaders have spent millions of dollars trying to paint their conventioneers as an altruistic and scientifically-minded group, seeking cures to human disease and solutions to feed the world’s hungry. A look behind the scenes, however, tells a rather different story…
PHILADELPHIA, PA – From June 17-21 people from across the country and overseas will converge on Philadelphia to show their opposition to health care profiteering, bio-weapons proliferation, and poorly tested, unlabeled genetically engineered food. This gathering, Biodemocracy 2005, will coincide with the annual meeting of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)…
Our survival, well-being, common heritage and democracy are currently under attack by the biotechnology industry. Without the knowledge or consent of the public, biotech corporations and government collaborators are making sweeping decisions about the future of life and human society on earth. We, a coalition of diverse groups and individuals, call for democratic participation in all such decisions, and for an immediate halt to the use of biotechnologies that threaten and harm the natural world, human health, and our prospects for a sustainable future.
The BioDemocracy convergence will kick off on Saturday morning, June 18th with an open-air festival in Clark Park to celebrate the diversity of nature and our local communities. The Festival will bring together organic farmers, community gardeners, alternative health practitioners, artists, musicians, families, and activists from near and far to share knowledge, give-aways, food, fun and skills!
This 3-day teach-in will offer something for everyone. There will be workshops and panel discussions on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, Pharmaceuticals and Human Genetics, Biowarfare and Bioweapons, Sustainable Alternatives, and the Corruption of Science, plus a special screening of the film The Future of Food introduced by filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia, along with some of the key people interviewed in the film. Confirmed teach-in speakers include Medea Benjamin, Ignacio Chapela, Percy Schmeiser, Anuradha Mittal, Sheldon Krimsky, Carmelo Ruiz, Judy Wicks, Brian Tokar, and many more!
On the Summer Solstice, rise up in Philadelphia’s streets and gardens for the “Longest Day (of Action) of the Year!” Shine a light on biotech and pharmaceutical hotspots in central Philadelphia and spark non-violent resistance to business as usual at BIO 2005.