San Francisco to host Biosafety Alliance Conference featuring Vandana Shiva

By California Biosafety Alliance

The conference, Justice Begins with Seeds, will be a space for movement building to actively address the symbol of the corporate food regime: genetically modified foods; to address the many layered implications of GE/GMO food; and to build strategic coalitions and deeper collaborations amongst diverse stakeholders for more widespread political action addressing GMOs in varying levels throughout the state of California.

Justice Begins with Seeds
September 14 to 17, 2011
San Francisco, California (Mission District)

Vandana Shiva will keynote the event, and panelists include scientist whistleblower Ignacio Chapela, Marcia Ishii-Eiteman (Pesticide Action Network), Eric Holt Gimenez (Food First), and author Jeffrey Smith.

Proposals for panels or workshops are still being accepted.

We are at a time of many crises. And in the face of all the global challenges before us, the domination of the food supply, and the contribution of the current food regime to climate change, numerous environmental crises, humans rights abuses and displacement of people to name a few, makes it perhaps the most pressing issue before us.

To control food is to control people. To destroy topsoil is to destroy the most elemental thing upon which we all depend. And to convince people that this system is the only way and that there is no other option is one of the most pressing myths before us that needs to be shattered.

The conference will focus on hands on workshops and panels on how to build alliances, how to start a rights based campaign, and how to get involved with GMO labeling initiatives throughout California. People from different organizing contexts will have the space to discuss, share strategy and build the movement to address the corporate food regime.

The conference is timed strategically to follow the Heirloom Seed Exposition in Sonoma and to precede the annual Food Justice Coalition Conference which will take place this year in Oakland. With this, we see this event feeding into upcoming events and pushing the issue of GMOs back onto the radar screen, while encouraging people to actively take on the issue politically.

Keynote: Vandana Shiva (Navdanya)

Plenary panelists:

Ignacio Chapela: UC Berkeley
Miguel Altieri: UC Berkeley
Anuradha Mittal: Oakland Institute
Gayle Mclaughlin: Mayor of Richmond
David Campos: San Francisco Supervisor
Marcia Ishii-Eiteman: Pesticide Action Network
Eric Holt Gimenez: Food First
Carl Anthony: Breakthrough Communities
Jeffrey Smith: Institute for Responsible Technology
Mari Margil: Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
Dave Henson: Occidental Arts and Ecology Center

The California Biosafety Alliance is a cross sector, multilevel and inter-ethnic alliance of individuals and organizations working together to engage in broader outreach around genetically modified (GMO) food issues and to bring together strategic coalitions of diverse stakeholders to advocate for a GMO free food supply, as a means of pushing for a shift from an industrial food model, to a model of local resilience. GMOs are a symbol that represent the industrial food system and a key point that needs to be addressed in order to address and shift away from the industrial food model.

Our vision is to get the multi-faceted number of issues with GMOs, ranging from health, to social justice, to environmental destruction, to a major contributor to climate change though topsoil degradation and numerous un-factored externalities, to corporate consolidation, to enter the framework of various groups that have not traditionally focused on the issue of GMOs as a central theme and point that needs to be addressed to push for a systemic shift in the current corporate food regime.

Workshop and Panel Tracks:

1 Local global connections
GMO movements, trade policy, low-income and food access–systemic problems, global connections, land grabs, human displacement and immigration, past GMO campaigns and perspectives, global perspectives on food and farming, IAASTD report and global policy.

2 Biocultural diversity: from soil to plate; what is and what can be
Food sovereignty and small farmers successes, monoculture and soil degradation, land management, problems with GMO ‘co-existence’, farm practices: dry farming, carbon farming: restoring topsoils, agriculture and climate change: how agriculture contributes to climate change, and how it can solve climate change, resistance and resilience through diversity, peasant perspectives.

3 Food, health and policy
Legal issues, policy, health issues and our right to know, emerging GMO issues, current legal challenges, deregulation of GMOs, issues of patents, health implications of GMOs, Roundup and health and environmental impact, food access, etc.

4 Building the Movement: resistance and alternative structures
Our democratic right to know, organizing and effective campaigns, passing local ordinances, rights based organizing, learning from what was and moving forward, storytelling and movement building, grassroots experience from other contexts, lobbying, pressuring business, educational strategies, working with local politicians, etc.

Your participation will build the conference and the results obtained will be your achievements.

If you would like to submit a proposal for a panel or workshop, click here for details.

One response to “San Francisco to host Biosafety Alliance Conference featuring Vandana Shiva

  1. Genetically modified foods can not help my Country, Ethiopia. Unless the basic and high tech Medical Equipments and more Physicians placed. I believe, the side effects will be enormous and the longevity and expiration dates of the foods will cause consequences.

    Right now, we start hearing the synthetic meat that will be introduced in the major fast food restaurants. Can you imagine eating something that looks like meat, but it is not? Quaker.

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