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Anti-Biotech Press Conference Forced Onto Street!

Today the Wyndham hotel called organizers of an anti-biotech press conference and told them they 'accidentally' booked their room to a pharmaceutical company. This press conference is in conjunction with a street theatre protest that takes place from noon-2pm in front of the Wyndham hotel on Tuesday, May 22.

Activists, Farmers, Scientists and 15-Foot Puppets to
Challenge Biotechnology Proponents in Chicago Protest

CHICAGO, May 22 -- The antibiotech group, GeneWise will be protesting the impact biotech food is
having on farmers and consumers on May 22 in conjunction with the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council (NABC) conference at the Wyndham Hotel. The group will also be holding a press conference inside featuring consumers, farmers, and scientists.

It is possible that the press conference now may take place outside the hotel in the street, as Wyndham official Phyliss North told organizers today, "it doesn't matter if you have a contract with us and have been making room arrangements with us - you will not have your press event here." GeneWise organizers suspect that the biotech industry is putting pressure on the hotel to kick GeneWise out. Protest organizers are putting out a call to area activists to show up in force on Tuesday at the hotel to help farmers and activists send a message to the biotech industry that they might kick activists out, but they can't shut activists up.

A lively street theatre protest will take place outside the hotel featuring 15-foot puppets. Street Theatre is being performed by members of GeneWise and Art & Revolution. This protest is being organized by area farmers, Chicago residents, and environmental organizations. The street theatre protest is from noon-2pm on May 22 in front of the Wyndham hotel in downtown Chicago.

WHERE: Wyndham Chicago, 633 North St. Clair

WHEN: Tuesday May 22, 2001 Noon - 2pm

Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian canola farmer who was sued by Monsanto because genetically engineered canola seed patented by Monsanto drifted onto his crop from neighboring fields. Monsanto sued Schmeiser for possession of their technology, and in the first round, a judge has sided with Monsanto, requiring that 70 yr. old Schmeiser pay the biotech giant $105,000.

Michael K. Hansen Ph.D. is a Research Associate with the Consumer Policy Institute, a division of Consumers Union (publisher of Consumer Reports magazine), and currently works on biotechnology issues. He is the author of Biotechnology and Milk: Benefit or Threat? He has been largely responsible for developing Consumers Union positions on safety, testing and labeling of genetically engineered food.

Jim Slama is the publisher of Conscious Choice: The
Journal of Ecology and Natural Living, a five time nominee for Utne Reader's Best of the Alternative Press Award. He is also the President of Sustain, a public interest group that promotes organic food and sustainable economics.,

Sophia Suhu is a local Chicago consumer and member of GeneWise. "The biotech companies' image makers will be in Chicago talking about the problem with the public's perception of GE foods; our perception is that we believe they should be talking about the real health and safety problems of these foods as well as their impact on the family farm."

Edith Galloway is a conventional farmer in Illinois and
Board Member of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance. Monsanto has begun to sue family farms across the United States and Edie is concerned about the implications of the Schmeiser verdict on her farm and America's farmers.

For more information on the NABC conference:


Media Contact: For more information contact: James Bell, Sustain,
312-951-8999 x101; jamesbell (at)



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