August 27, 2016

Take Action / Resources / Topics / Corporate Control / BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotech 2015

BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotech 2015

BIO is the world's largest biotechnology industry lobby group. In June 2015, BIO changed its name from the Biotechnology Industry Association to the Biotechnology Innovation Association. In 2012, BIO spent $65 million dollars on its activities. BIO members include three of the six largest biotech, seed and pesticide companies in the world: Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, BASF.

The BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology is in Montreal July 19-22 and is a platform for the development and promotion of biofuels and biomass including the use of synthetic biology. The BIO World Congress “is the world's largest industrial biotechnology event for business leaders, investors, and policy makers in biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals.” #BIOWC15 bio.org/worldcongress

The corporate agenda for food, livelihoods and life

Corporations are taking control over food, livelihoods and life by using new technologies like genetic modification and synthetic biology.

Synthetic biology(SynBio) is a set of risky "extreme genetic engineering" techniques, including ‘editing’ genomes or writing entirely new genetic codes on a computer, ‘printing’ them out and inserting them into living organisms. Scientists are even trying to create new life forms from scratch. Companies are trying to pass off products of synthetic biology as ‘natural’, misleading consumers and undermining the livelihoods of those small farmers who produce truly natural products. www.etcgroup.org

Genetic modification (GM) is the transfer of genes directly from one organism to another to confer new traits. Companies can patent and own genetic sequences, which then allows them to take ownership over seeds. www.cban.ca

Corporations want to commercialize, patent and profit from technologies that transform plants and other living organisms into "living factories" to make fuel, fragrances, food ingredients and other industrial products. They claim their process and products will be the solution to the climate, food and energy crisis.

  • GM eucalyptus trees have been approved in Brazil for pulp and paper production.
  • The US has approved GM loblolly pine trees that have more dense wood, for paper and energy production.
  • Researchers in BC are genetically modifying poplar trees with lower lignin so they are easier to make into fuel and paper. Click here to find out more about GM trees.
  • Making fuel from algae may sound like a great idea but will require large amounts of nutrients, energy, water and space. Algae play a fundamental role providing oxygen and food - GMO contamination could undermine that.
  • SynBio companies are making synthetic versions of vanilla, stevia, rubber and more.

Companies have big plans for our future – but are corporate solutions real solutions? Genetic engineering including new technologies like synthetic biology threaten to commodify every living organism, replace livelihoods and put our environment at risk.

What is BIO?

  • BIO is the world's largest biotechnology industry lobby group.
  • BIO has just changed its name from the Biotechnology Industry Association to the Biotechnology Innovation Association.
  • In 2012, BIO spent $65 million dollars on its activities.
  • BIO members include three of the six largest biotech, seed and pesticide companies in the world: Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, BASF.

What is the BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology?

  • It’s “the world's largest industrial biotechnology event for business leaders, investors, and policy makers in biofuels, biobased products, and renewable chemicals.” (Montreal July 19-22)
  • Sponsors include Novozymes which has over 6000 patents on enzymes and processes for synthetic biology, and controversial synthetic biology company Solazyme whose president will receive a special award.
  • More than 1000 people, representing over 500 companies.

Congress Agenda

Program topics include:

  • Renewable Chemicals
  • Advanced Biofuels
  • Biorefinery Platforms
  • Feedstocks
  • Biobased Products
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Specialty Chemicals
  • Food and Nutritional Ingredients
  • Regulatory Issues

Breakout program

Track 1: Algae, Biomass Supply and Specialty Crops
Track 2: Specialty Chemicals, Food & Nutritional Ingredients- Sponsored by: Biocatalysts
Track 3: Synthetic Biology and Genomics Research - Sponsored by: DuPont
Track 4: Research Presentations- Sponsored by Novasep
Track 5: Technical Presentations - Sponsored by: Chemistria
Track 6: Renewable Chemical and Biobased Materials - Sponsored by: Bergeson & Campbell
Track 7: Advanced Biofuels and Biorefinery Platforms- Sponsored by: POET-DSM
Track 8: Growing Global Biobased Markets - Sponsored by: Ensyn

More Resources

"Jurassic World" and the Dinosaurs at the USDA, 22 June 2015. Opinion. Rachel Smolker, Truthout

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