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Anti-Biotech Zealots To Converge On San Diego

Beginning Sunday, the four-day Bio2001 event at the San Diego Convention Center is expected to draw 12,000 to 15,000 industry executives. Outside the meeting site, however, police are preparing for over 4,000 protesters. The Organic Consumers Association’s Ronnie Cummins told a reporter that the often violent anti-biotech movement is growing: “It’s not going to be that long,” he said, “before we’ll have the same movement around industrial agriculture and genetic engineering that we had around nuclear power.” Some in the food technology industry, however, believe that the nanny activists are just showing their scientific ignorance. “Biotech is the perfect villain,” said Jerry Caulder, the former leader of Mycogen, a San Diego biotech firm. “When you have something that’s difficult to understand from a scientific standpoint, it’s no different from when people thought the sun revolved around the Earth.”

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