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6th International Grassroots
Gathering on Genetic Engineering
June 7-9, Toronto, Canada
Sponsors: Polaris Institute, Council of Canadians, BIOdevastation
Toronto Coalition, Institute for Social Ecology [USA]
Friday Night Panel
A Biotech Future? – Exposing the Truth!
St. Lawrence Centre
27 Front Street East
7:30 pm. – 10:00 pm.
Tony Clarke, Director, Polaris Institute
Nadege Adam Campaigner, Council of Canadians
Dr. Nancy Olivieri, professor of pediatrics at University of Toronto and head of the sickle cell anemia research programs at the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children.
Dr. Gregor Wolbring, research scientist at Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, founder of the International Network on Bioethics and Disability.
Debra Harry, member of Paiute Nation in Nevada, USA, director of the Indigenous Peoples’ Council on Biocolonialism, on board of Council for Responsible Genetics
Dr. Vandana Shiva, author, physicist and philosopher of science; founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in India; and recipient of the 1993 Right Livelihood Award.
Saturday June 8: Daytime workshops at OISE, University of Toronto – see below
Saturday Night Panel
BIOWARFARE: Is the Biotech Industry Fueling the New Arms Race?
OISE Hall, University of Toronto
252 Bloor Street West
7:00 – 9:30
Moderator: Tony Clarke
Kebhen Grifter and Juan Martinez, members of the beehive design collective and coordinators of the collaborative project on Plan Columbia
Jan Van Aken, researcher and campaigner for The Sunshine Project, Germany
Mark Wheelis, author and professor of microbiology, University of California
Brian Tokar, faculty member and biotechnology program director, Institute for Social Ecology, Vermont
Sunday Afternoon Picnic
bioDIVERSITY GMO-Free Picnic & Family Fair
12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Grange Park, Toronto
2 blocks NW of Osgoode subway
Featuring: Dr. David Suzuki, Geneticist, author, and TV host of “The Nature of Things” at 3 p.m.
Musical performances by Woman Ah Run Tings and many others.
Lots of free organic food, activities for children, music and theatre, puppet shows, a food and farmers market, information booths, speakers and more
Saturday bioJUSTICE Workshops
8:30 – 9:45 Overview presentations by Brewster Kneen, The Ram’s Horn and
Dr. Warren Bell Canadian Physicians for the Environment. Moderator, Lucy Sharratt, Polaris Institute. Note Location: auditorium, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education [OISE] University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West
10:00 -1:00 Morning Workshops
Public Health, Biotechnology and the Corporatization of Medicine.
What new pharmaceutical drugs and therapies are being created by GE technologies? How is the biotech industry influencing and reorganizing our public healthcare system and what can be done about it? Nancy Olivieri, Hospital for Sick Children; Michelle Brill-Edwards, former drug evaluator at Health Canada; Colleen Fuller, author & patient rights advocate. 2-214
The Tyranny of “Normal:” Disability, Culture & Human Engineering. How can we start to talk about the challenging issues of human engineering raised by new GE technologies such as: discrimination and equality rights; human genetic and non-genetic before and after birth screening; stem cells; wrongful life/birth suits; artificial womb; and bionics? Gregory Wolbring, International Network on Bioethics and Disability.
Survival Guide to Shopping and Campaigning for GE Free Food. What can be done to keep GE food out of your grocery cart and get GE food out of your grocery store? What kinds of campaign strategies are needed to pressure major food retailers in Canada and the US? Ronnie Cummins, Organic Food Consumers, US; Jessica Hayes, Genetic Engineering Action Network, US; Pat Venditti, Greenpeace Canada. 2-211
Real Food Security: Dispelling Biotech’s Myth of “Feeding the World.” What lessons can be learned from the Third World experience of destruction wrought by the Green Revolution of the 1960s? How is the biotech industry replicating this disaster today? Tina Conlon, Oxfam Canada; Neil Sorenson, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, USA; Meyer Brownstone and Bernard Solaz, Oxfam Canada. 2-213
From WTO & G-8: Global Threats to Biodiversity, Democracy & Food. How do international trade regimes empower the biotech industry to use patents for controlling our biodiversity, weakening food safety standards and overriding public healthcare priorities? How to resist the WTO and the G-8′s agenda? Neil Sorensen, IATP, USA; Nadege Adam, Council of Canadians; Holly Penfound, Greenpeace. 2-213
Ethics and Genetic Engineering: It’s About More than Science! Do we object to GE technologies because they are too “risky” or “unsafe” or because it is an unconscionable assault on life and organisms? Brewster Kneen, biotech critic and theologian; Rick Smith, International Fund for Animal Welfare; Rev. Eric Beresford, Anglican Church of Canada; Brian Burch, social justice activist and writer. 2-296
1:00 – 2:00 ORGANIC LUNCH $6.00
2:00 – 5:00 Afternoon Workshops
Indigenous Knowledge, Biopiracy and Colonialism. How are GE technologies being used to further colonize Aboriginal peoples by stealing genetic materials from their plants and peoples? How are Aboriginal peoples fighting these forms of bio-piracy and bio-prospecting? Debra Harry, Indigenous Peoples’ Council on Biocolonialism; Dawn Martin Hill, Indigenous Studies Programme, McMaster University. 2-211
Building a Movement for Healthy Food and Healthy Food Policy. How can agriculture subsidies and other policy tools be used to re-orient food production away from GE technologies towards sustainable, local food supplies? What can be done to build and promote alternatives on a broader scale? Debbie Field, FoodShare, Toronto; Herb Barbolet, Farm Folk, City Folk, BC.; Ronnie Cummins, Organic Food Consumers, USA. 2-214
Public Policy and Government Accountability in Canada. How is the fight for government action on GE issues part of a larger struggle for democracy? What can be done to counter the corporate takeover of governments and the regulatory system? Brewster Kneen, The Ram’s Horn; Devlin Kuyek, Technoscience du Vivant et Societe, University of Quebec; Michelle Brill-Edwards, former Health Canada regulator, Lucy Sharratt, Polaris Institute. 2-295
Challenging the Biotech Engines: Taking on the Corporations Pushing the GE Agenda! Who are the big corporations pushing for a biotech future in agriculture, food, and healthcare? What can be done to effectively challenge the Gene Giants through campaign strategies? Brenda Inouye, researcher, Polaris Institute; Karl Flecker, education coordinator, Polaris Institute. 2-296
The Farm Crisis, Agribusiness and Genetic Engineering. How do Canadian and US farmers see industrialized agriculture and GE technologies working to shut down the family farm? What can be done to support our farmers and rural communities in Canada and the USA? Peter Dowling, National Farmers Union, Canada; Bill Wenzel, Farmer to Farmer Campaign on Genetic Engineering, USA. 2-213
Manipulating Natural Resources: Genetically Engineered Trees. How, why and where are GE technologies now being used to create trees that are insect resistant, herbicide resistant, and grow faster? What risks are involved and what actions can be taken? Brian Hash, Action for Social and Ecological Justice, USA 2-282
Patenting Cruelty: Transgenic Animals and Biotech Research: How are animals used and abused in biotech research to create transgenic animals for human organs [xenotransplantation], food and drugs. Stephanie Brown,Animal Alliance of Canada; Leslie Bisgould, animal rights lawyer; Dr. David Sztybel, Queen’s University; David Marshall, Gene Action and Freedom for Animals. 2-212
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