For the real scoop on what the activists call “Biodevastation 2001,” let’s turn to a native San Diego observer.
Columnist Joseph Perkins writes that this week’s protesters are the same group of “anti-technology, anti-commerce, anti-trade activists who disrupted the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle two years ago… The activists hope to use San Diego as a backdrop to continue their disinformation campaign against biotechnology. To frighten the American people into believing that bioengineered agricultural and pharmaceutical products are a threat to public health and well-being.”
Perkins also reminds readers of the comments made just last year by Former Commerce undersecretary for trade David Aaron: “Thirteen years of experience with biotech products in the U.S. have shown us that biotech foods developed and used in the U.S. present no safety risk beyond those of their ‘natural’ counterparts. Not a single ailment has been attributed to biotech foods. Not one. Not a sneeze, not a rash, not a headache.”
In a related editorial, The San Diego Union Tribune praises the groundbreaking medical advances made by biotech in recent years: “This ‘biotech juggernaut,’ say protest organizers, ‘is furthering its drive for profits through the privatization of our collective genetic heritage.’
Well, the biotech leaders and executives who are here in San Diego are surely interested in profits. But they are more interested in helping patients.” Closer to agriculture’s home, UC San Diego professor Maarten Chrispeels penned a Sunday Union Tribune op-ed in which he insists that biotech’s opponents pose a greater threat to our future than anything they oppose.