The Bay Area Bio Lab and Synthetic Biology: False solutions and new risks to health, justice and communities

Thursday March 29th
David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way, Berkeley)

Join local, national, and international organizations for an afternoon of learning and discussion about the new Syn-Bio-Lab-by-the-Bay and the far-reaching implications of the Bay Area’s controversial and rapidly growing synthetic biology industry.

A Risky Development
The University of California, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and the US Department of Energy have unveiled plans to build a high profile biotech laboratory in the East Bay. The lab and associated commercial activity will focus on developing biofuels and other products using synthetic biology: an extreme form of genetic engineering that creates artificial life.

Ground Zero for Syn Bio
Already a multi-billion dollar field, synthetic biology is fast becoming the next ‘biotech bubble’ with the Bay Area as ground zero for this new industry . The San Francisco Bay Area is already home to over a dozen synthetic biology companies backed by some of the world’s largest energy, pharmaceutical, chemical and agribusiness players as well as “garage biotech” hackers. The next generation biofuels under development are a false solution to our environmental crises. The risks synthetic biology poses to worker safety, public health, social justice, and the environment are poorly understood and are as yet effectively unregulated.

Speakers include:
Gopal Dayaneni – Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project
Nnimmo Bassey (Nigeria) – Chair of Friends of the Earth International /Right Livelihood Award Winner.
Maria Jose Guazzelli (Brazil) – Executive Director of Centro Ecologico
Becky McClain – Ex-Pfizer injured biotech scientist and whistleblower
Ignacio Chapela – UC Berkeley ecologist and microbiologist
Jeremy Gruber – Executive Director, Council for Responsible Genetics
Anne Petermann – Executive Director, Global Justice and Ecology Project
Jim Thomas – ETC Group – Leading critic of Synthetic Biology
Eric Hoffman – Friends of the Earth USA
Jaydee Hanson – International Centre for Technology Assessment

More info at