Bio-Protests in Boston

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The street showdown over scientists’ tinkering with nature’s genes turned into a festive sort of street theater in Boston over the weekend: it looked more like a Mardi Gras parade of endangered butterflies than, say, the pitched battles of Seattle over world trade.

From the anti-cloning, “no patents on life” brigades, one man in a Frankenstein costume was handing out “Franken-flakes” from genetically modified corn; another wore a huge red mock killer tomato on his head.

There were police helicopters overhead all day, to protect the biggest convention of the biotech industry from the biggest body of protesters-in the thousands; but on the street the questions were reflective, not combative: what if the problem isn’t the technology but the way the market directs the benefits to rich countries?

Should a bug-resistant tomato be developed ahead of a vaccine against malaria? The biotech argument at street level in this hour of The Connection.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)


Martha Herbert and Steve Holtzman.