There is a major conference of the Biotechnology industry in Vancouver this week.  The same people at Monsanto who have brought you pesticide emitting corn and Flav'r Sav'r Tomatoes are now trying their hands at taking over the fuel supply.  In the process, they want to turn our oceans, forests, and fields into a global laboratory for their dangerous, but profitable experiments.  Greenpeace, along with Society for a GE Free BC, and the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, will be attending the conference.  A public forum will be held this evening, Wednesday September 10th, to raise awareness of what industry is planning to do with your food and your fuel.   Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street.  7:30 PM.

News Release:

Major biotech corporations are meeting at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) conference in Vancouver today, to chart the use of genetically engineered (GE) crops and trees, as well as synthetic biology and nanotechnology, for fuel.

In response to this industry convention, Greenpeace, along with the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN) and the Society for a GE Free BC, are hosting a public forum where citizens can hear directly from conference attendees and learn how biotech corporations are cashing in on the climate, energy and food crisis to push dangerous new technologies.

“The use of crops and trees for biofuel will quickly exacerbate global warming,” said Josh Brandon, Greenpeace agriculture campaigner. “Already, more forests around the world are being destroyed to make way for monoculture plantations of trees and crops for fuel.”

Brandon will be speaking at tonight’s public forum along with Lucy Sharratt, CBAN coordinator, who is attending the conference. The event, “Nightmare Biofuels?” begins tonight, Sept. 10th, at 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Hall, 3102 Main St. in Vancouver.

“The biotech industry has pounced on the tremendous hype over biofuels to push out all their nightmarish technologies, even pushing the use of genetically engineered trees for transport fuel,” said Sharatt. “This industry conference lays bare the corporate agenda behind biofuels. The conference exposes new collaboration between the most powerful oil, biotech, seed chemical and forestry corporations.”

Corn ethanol and similar “first generation” biofuels are now widely seen as a failure because they do not reduce greenhouse gases but are, according to the World Bank, the major cause of the food crisis. So industry is promising so-called “second generation” biofuels that critics’ say, promise to be an even greater danger to the environment.

“We want no part of this nightmarish future where trees are genetically engineered to fill our gas tanks,” said Tony Beck of the Society for a GE Free BC. “The B.C. government should immediately legislate a ban on planting genetically engineered trees on crown land.”

-30-

For more information, please contact:

Josh Brandon, Greenpeace agriculture campaigner, 604-721-7493 Lucy Sharratt, coordinator, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613-263-4708 Tony Beck, Society for a GE Free BC, 604-671-2106