Sun Jun 6 2004 BIO 2004 San Francisco
6/6/04: The biotechnology industry describes itself as "selling food, health, hope," while its detractors accuse it of harming and threatening farmers around the world and destroying biodiversity. Starting today, some 17,000 people from biotech companies from about 60 countries are meeting behind closed doors in San Francisco to make contacts, sell their ideas, raise venture capital, and convince journalists and the public that the biotech industry is "just great." To spin pro-industry PR, corporate journalists were provided with story ideas a week before the conference started, while independent journalists were denied press credentials due to "opposing biotech" or writing from an "activist point of view." For corporate journalists, BIO 2004 started early today with a media brunch full of GM food and corporate lies going so far as to promote GM crops as a "weapon against obesity".