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GMOs 2.0: Synthetic Biology Symposium: Impacts on our Food, Farmers, Consumer Products & Health

October 9, 2014 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Possible Impacts to Health, Farming & Environment from “Extreme” Genetic Engineering in Consumer Products and Food Systems

When:  October 9, 2014; 7 – 9 pm
Where: Mill Valley Community Center
Cascade Room
180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley

Parents, teens, sustainability groups, grocers and a prominent UC Berkeley scientist converge to present a symposium and begin a public conversation entitled GMOs 2.0: Synthetic Biology; Impacts on our Food, Farmers, Consumer Products & Health on October 9, 2014 at the Mill Valley Community Center from 7 – 9 p.m.

As recently reported in the New York Times, synthetic biology is quietly entering our food supply, cosmetics, and household products. Yet, much about this new technology is not understood. Government oversight and safety assessment to protect our health and environment is virtually non-existent. Labels identifying whether a product contains synthetic biology ingredients are not required.

Because of the rapid pace of development and lack of experience with wide scale use of these new technologies, there are more questions than answers about how synthetic biology might impact our environment, our farmers, and our long-term health. Impacts will be felt both locally and abroad, including in our own community. The Bay Area is a “hub” for synthetic biology, with laboratories in Richmond, Silicon Valley, South San Francisco and Berkeley.

“Before synthetic biology gets rubber stamped as sustainable, safe or natural, we need proper regulation and transparent safety assessment specific to these extreme genetic engineering techniques,” said Lisa Archer, director of Friends of the Earth’s food and technology program.

“This emerging form of genetic modification has the power to drastically change both human societies and natural systems. Shouldn’t we enter this brave new world with our eyes open?” said Mark Squire, founder and owner of Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax, CA.

Speakers at the Symposium include:

Claire Hope Cummings (Moderator). Claire is an environmental lawyer, journalist, and the author of Uncertain Peril: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds (Beacon Press, March 2008). She is also a former attorney for the US Department of Agriculture’s Office of General Counsel.

Ignacio Chapela, Ph.D. Ignacio is a microbial ecologist and mycologist at UC Berkeley where he is on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management.

Gopal Dayaneni. Gopal works for Movement Generation and the International Accountability Project. He is an organizer with the Ruckus Society and a member of the Progressive Communication Network.

Mark Squire.  Mark is the founder and owner of Good Earth Natural Foods in Fairfax, CA and a founder and board member of the Non-GMO Project.

Lisa Archer. Lisa directs the Food and Technology Program at Friends of the Earth-U.S.

For more information: www.synbiowatch.org


October 9, 2014
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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Mill Valley Community Center
180 Camino Alto
Mill Valley, CA United States
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