Come to bioJUSTICE/bioDIVERSITY 2002




Over the last two years, thousands of people have gathered to counter the annual conventions of the biotechnology industry in Boston and San Diego. This year, people will be converging on Toronto to broaden the biojustice movement and challenge the biotechnology industry and their vision for our future. It will be a gathering to learn, strategize and network about genetic engineering in agriculture and pharmaceuticals, biowarfare, genetic and non-genetic discrimination, trade regimes and corporate control, patenting of life and more. This event is timed to challenge the industry’s annual convention BIO2002, Toronto, June 9-12.


Friday Night Panel: Biotechnology, Food and Health Care: Exposing the Myths

Speakers include:

Dr. Vandana Shiva, author, physicist and philosopher of science, founder of the Research Foundation on Science, Technology, and Ecology (India) and recipient of the 1993 Right Livelihood Award.

Dr. Nancy Olivieri, professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, and head of the thalassemia and sickle-cell anemia research programs at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, and co-founder, Doctors for Research Integrity

Dr. Gregor Wolbring, research scientist, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary; member of the Ethics working group of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO and founder of The International Network on Bioethics and Disability

Others To Be Announced. St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front St. E., Toronto Directions ->

Saturday Workshops at the University of Toronto exploring topics such as

  • Drug Safety and Biotechnology in Medicine
  • The Tyranny of “Normal”: Eugenics, Culture and Human Engineering
  • The Future of GE Foods and Crops
  • Agricultural Biotechnology: The Farm Crisis and New Technologies
  • Building a Movement for Healthy Food and Healthy Food Policy
  • Why Biotechnology Won’t “Feed the World”
  • Indigenous Knowledge, Biopiracy and Colonialism
  • Trade Agreements, Patents and the Marketing of GE Products
  • Biotech Engines: Corporate Research and Campaigning
  • Manipulating Natural Resources: GE Trees and Fish
  • Full listings below

    8:30AM to 6:00PM at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) – University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto Directions ->


    Saturday Evening Panel: Biowarfare: Is the Biotechnology Industry Profiting from War?

    Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) – University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto Directions ->Speakers include:

  • Jan Van Aken, researcher and campaigner, The Sunshine Project, Germany
  • Dr. Mark Wheelis, author and professor, Section of Microbiology, University of California at Davis
  • Brian Tokar, Institute for Social Ecology
  • Other speakers To Be Announced


    Sunday: bioDIVERSITY GMO-Free Picnic: A Festival of Alternatives

    12 noon – 4 PM, Grange Park Directions ->


  • Dr. David Suzuki, geneticist, author, and TV host of “The Nature of Things.”
  • Lots of free organic food, activities for children, music and theatre, information booths, speakers and more.



    Saturday Workshops at the University of Toronto, June 8:

    8:30am to 5:00pm at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) –
    University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto

    Opening Panel 8:30 – 9:45
    Workshops 10-1 and 2- 5

    13 bioJUSTICE Workshops For Movement Building:

    PLEASE NOTE: additional workshop leaders will be added to this list. Times
    are to be confirmed. The workshops are 3 hours each to enable full
    participation and action strategizing; there are two workshop slots of 10-1
    or 2-5. There is no workshop sign-up but when you register please indicate
    your workshop preferences. Thank you.

    1. Public Health, Biotechnology and the Corporatization of Medicine

    What new pharmaceutical drugs and therapies are being created? What are the
    safety concerns – how is research being conducted and how is the government
    regulating products? How is our health care system being reorganized by
    genetic technologies and how can we organize to protect public health and
    our public health care system?


  • Nancy Olivieri, medical doctor, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • Michelle Brill-Edwards, former drug evaluator at Health Canada, Ottawa
  • Colleen Fuller, patient rights advocate and author on public health care, Vancouver

    2. The Tyranny of “Normal”: Disability, Culture and Human Engineering

    How can we start to talk about the challenging issues raised by new human
    genetic technologies and who has a voice in this debate? This workshop will
    cover: discrimination/equality rights; human genetic/non-genetic before and
    after birth screening, deselection/selection, fixing, and enhancement
    technologies; stem cells; wrongful life/birth suits; artificial womb; and

  • Gregor Wolbring, International Network on Bioethics and Disability, Calgary

    3. Indigenous Knowledge, Biopiracy and Colonialism

    How is genetic engineering an attack on indigenous knowledge and how are
    genetic technologies used to further colonize native peoples? How are native
    peoples across the world fighting biopiracy and bioprospecting – the efforts
    to steal genetic materials from plants and people?

    Debra Harry, Indigenous People’s Council on Biocolonialism, Nevada



    4. The Farm Crisis, Genetic Engineering and New Technologies

    Hear from Canadian and US farmers about how genetic engineering and other
    corporate technologies are working to shut down the family farm. What
    government polices are assisting the industrialization of agriculture and
    what can we do to support farmers and protect rural communities in Canada
    and the US?

  • Peter Dowling, National Farmers Union, Ontario
  • Bill Wenzel, Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering, Wisconsin

    5. Survival Guide to Shopping and Campaigning: How to Shop and Campaign for
    GE-Free Food

    Discuss ways you can avoid GE foods in your grocery cart and explore how you
    can campaign to get GE food out of your grocery store! Strategize how to
    join and strengthen campaigns in Canada and US to pressure major retailers
    and bring basic decisions about our food supply back into our local

  • Jessica Hayes, Genetic Engineering Action Network, US
  • Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association, US
  • Pat Venditti, Greenpeace Canada, Toronto

    6. Building a Movement for Healthy Food and Healthy Food Policy

    Find out how agricultural subsidies and other policy tools can be used to
    re-orient the food system away from technologies like genetic engineering
    and toward a sustainable, local food supply. Strategize on fair trade, buy
    local campaigns, organics, and talk about what kind of strategies and
    movement we are going to have to build to promote alternatives on a broader

  • Debbie Field, Executive Director, FoodShare, Toronto
  • Herb Barbolet, Farm Folk, City Folk, BC

    7. Why Biotech Will Not “Feed the World”: Food Security in the Third World

    Learn from first hand experience about the destruction wrought by the “Green
    Revolution” of the 1960’s and why biotech is only replicating this disaster
    for farmers and biodiversity across the world. Find out what peoples across
    the South are doing to feed themselves – without corporate technologies –
    and how we can work to support these efforts.

  • Tina Conlon, Oxfam Canada, Toronto
  • Neil Sorenson, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minnesota
  • Meyer Brownstone, Oxfam Canada, Toronto
  • Bernard Solaz, Fair Trade Working Group, Oxfam Canada, Toronto

    8. From WTO and G8: The Threat to Biodiversity, Democracy and Our Food

    How are international trade regimes designed to assist the biotech industry
    use patents to lay claim to our biodiversity, weaken food safety standards
    and override political and ethical concerns. Come and join actions people
    are taking in Canada and around the world to resist the WTO and the G8’s
    agenda of exploitation!

  • Neil Sorenson, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Minnesota
  • Nadege Adam, Council of Canadians, Ottawa
  • Holly Penfound, Greenpeace Canada, Toronto

    9. Challenging the Biotech Engines: How big corporations are re-organizing
    their push for a biotech future and what can be done to challenge this

    An informative and action-oriented workshop that will focus on building
    grassroots campaign strategies to counter the multinational agro, food and
    pharma biotech corporations.

  • Brenda Inouye, Researcher, Polaris Institute. Ottawa
  • Karl Flecker, Education Coordinator, Polaris Institute, Kingston

    10. Manipulating Natural Resources: Genetically Engineering Trees

    How and why is genetic engineering being used to create trees that are
    insect resistant, herbicide resistant, and grow faster? Where is this
    research being done and why does it matter? Find out what are the risks are
    and how GE trees are connected with justice and environmental struggles
    across Latin America, Canada and the US.

  • Brad Hash, Action for Social and Ecological Justice and Global
  • Alliance Against Genetically Engineered Trees, Vermont

    11. Public Policy and Government Accountability in Canada

    How is the fight for government action on genetic engineering part of a
    larger struggle for democracy in the face of corporatization and
    privatization of government? Find out who makes the decisions behind the
    scenes, learn about successes so far, and strategize to take government back
    into our hands!

  • Brewster Kneen, The Ram’s Horn, BC
  • Devlin Kuyek, Research Group on Technoscience du Vivant et Societ�,
  • University of Quebec at Montreal
  • Nadege Adam, Council of Canadians, Ottawa
  • Lucy Sharratt, Polaris Institute, Ottawa

    12. Patenting Cruelty: Transgenic Animals and Biotech Animal Research

    How is the biotechnology industry using and abusing animals in their
    research to create transgenic animals for xenotransplantation (human
    organs), food and pharmaceutical production (animals as “bioreactors”);
    animal cloning, the patenting of animals, and what the ethical and legal
    challenges are surrounding these issue? Explore how food biotech opponents
    can get together with animal-rights advocates to build a more unified and
    comprehensive challenge.

  • Stephanie Brown, Animal Alliance of Canada, Toronto
  • Leslie Bisgould, Animal rights lawyer, Toronto
  • Dr. David Sztybel, Queen’s University, Kingston
  • David Marshall, GeneAction and Freedom for Animals, Toronto

    13. Ethics of Genetic Engineering: It’s about a lot more than science!

    Do we object to genetic engineering because it is ‘risky’ or ‘unsafe’ or
    because it is an unconscionable assault on life and a violation of the
    integrity of organisms? How are we to treat the other inhabitants of this
    place? Ethics is about examining limits and respecting boundaries, which is
    directly opposed to the philosophy and practice of genetic engineering.
    Ethics is about recognizing that there are some things we cannot and will
    not support or do, and why.

  • Brewster Kneen, international food system analyst and theologian, BC
  • Brian Burch, social justice activist and writer, Toronto
  • Rev. Eric Beresford, Anglican Church of Canada, Toronto
  • Rick Smith, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Ottawa

    Housing Information

    Conference Accommodations at the Victoria University Residences in Toronto

    Lodging for approximately 100 people is available at the Vic vala University
    Residences during the conference period. The residences are located on the
    University of Toronto campus in downtown Toronto and consist of single or
    twin-bed rooms – all have shared mixed-gender washrooms. The accommodation
    rates are, for adults, $45 single and $65 twin, and for students and seniors
    with valid ID, $39 single and $57 twin. These prices do not include tax.
    Local phone calls and a continental breakfast are included in the rate of
    stay. Additional meals can also be purchased. There are laundry facilities
    in the residences. Some wheelchair accessible rooms are available upon

    For more information or to fill out a mail-in registration form, visit the
    Victoria University summer accommodation website at: The reception desk is
    open 24 hours. The number is (416) 585-4524. The email address is

    The Victoria College reception desk’s address is 140 Charles St. It is a
    five or ten minute walk from Victoria College to OISE, the site for
    Saturday’s conference activities (the St. Lawrence Centre for Friday night
    is also not too far). Directions are as follows: -walk West on Charles to
    Queen’s Park, then turn North (right) -walk one block to Bloor St. West,
    turn West (left) on Bloor St. West and walk two or three blocks to OISE.

    The College is located near the Museum subway stop (exit on Charles St. –
    one minute walk) and near the point where the Bloor/Dansforth and University
    bus lines intersect.

    Please see mapquest to type in the address of the college
    and then get directions.

    Comfort Hotel Downtown

    15 Charles Street

    416 924 1222

    Rooms are approximately $150 Canadian


    Friday Night

    St. Lawrence Centre, 27 Front St. E., Toronto navigate


    Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) – University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto navigate


    Grange Park navigate