The Scripps Research Institute, which has facilities in La Jolla, CA, has recently set up shop in South Florida. Scripps Florida, located at the Jupiter Campus of Florida Atlantic University, is the largest animal research center in the “Sunshine State.” Future plans for Scripps include the destruction of an 800 acre pine flatwoods ecosystem in order to make room for an entire Biotech City and the expansion of vivisection, bio-pharmaceuticals, and corporate ownership of life.
Beginning several years ago (under governor Jeb Bush), the Florida legislature vowed to make Florida an international hub of so-called green, clean corporate biotech. With state and public funds and a ‘who’s who’ of shady corporate investors ? such as Monsanto, Novartis, the Department of Defense, Philip Morris, etc, ? it is clear that a battle is brewing.
Behind the walls of Scripps animals are used in horrible experiments, many of which are hidden from public scrutiny. In 2004 a government inspection of a Scripps research facility in La Jolla, California found that test monkeys injected with the drug “ecstasy” were also malnourished. One of the primates died from overdose and Scripps was forced to temporarily suspend its research. Other experiments have included the deliberate infection of chimpanzees with Hepatitis C.
The proposed site for phase II of Scripps Biotech expansion, known as the Briger Tract, is one of the last remaining pine flatwood habitats in the region. This site also includes wetlands and is home to rare and endangered species, including gopher tortoises, indigo snakes and hand ferns. A pair of Bald Eagles have also been spotted on the land, along with dozens of migrating and wading birds.
The good news is that Scripps has been defeated before. Back in 2004-2005 Scripps layed foundation for its facilities on another chunk of land in Palm Beach County called Mecca Farms. Through protest and legal challenges, Scripps was defeated. It has taken them years to move on another property. The next zoning hearing to approve the rezoning of the forest to biomedical is, no joke, April 1st. Opposition is mounting.
Everglades Earth First! is currently challenging Scripps, not just that it may replace a forest, but that it may exist at all… in La Jolla or in Jupiter.
Lets build a coast to coast movement against Scripps Biotech.
Check our website on Scripps Florida at www.evergladesearthfirst.org/scripps.html.