Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture


21.06.2006 |

EU member states experts criticise EFSA's risk assessment

At a meeting of national experts and representatives of the European Food Safety Authority on GMO risk assessment harsh words were kept behind closed doors. According to participants numerous experts made far reaching suggestions to overhaul the present system of risk assessment. On the lighter side an EFSA official told Reuters "that it was natural that the agency was using short-term data from the industry in its assessments because GMOs were fairly young".</p><p><a href="">Reuters: Food Safety Body Says Works Closely With EU on GMOs</a>

21.06.2006 |

USA: Santa Cruz county bans GMOs

Supervisors of the county of Santa Cruz unanimously agreed on a 'precautionary' moratorium on the cultivation of GMOs in the region around the Capital of California.</p><p><a href="">Santa Cruz Sentinel: County bans biotech crops</a>

16.06.2006 |

Background: USDA overview on the EU's GMO politics

A comprehensive overview on the European Unions state of politics on genetically modified organisms, complemented with links to many relevant EU web-sites and references has been published by the USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service.</p><p><a href="">USDA: EU-25Biotechnology Annual Agricultural Biotechnology Report 2006</a>

14.06.2006 |

France: Secret field trials of pharmaceutical GMOs

The approval of 17 field trials by the French government, including two with pharmaceutical GMOs, have been criticised by various organisations. There is still no proper GM law governing such trials in France.</p><p><a href=""></a>

11.06.2006 |

GMO industry enthusiastic about EU biofuels initiative

The establishment of a new EU "technology platform" on biofuels has been enthusiastically welcomed by Europes GMO industry association "Europa-Bio" as "yet another key step in the integration of biotechnology into the infrastructure of the European economy. Biotechnology had the potential to enable the production of fuels and chemicals.</p><p><a href=""></a></p><p><a href="">EU: Launching Conference of the European Technology Platform for Biofuels</a></p><p><a href="">Background from the USA: Green Fuel's Dirty Secret</a>

09.06.2006 |

EU: Key discussion on new approvals of GMO cultivation

On June 19th the European Food Safety Authority, the European Commissionand national experts from all member states will be meeting to discuss three GMO applications for cultivation: Syngenta's Bt11,Pioneers 1507 and BASF's high starch potato. While some approvals have been granted for food and feed no GMO has been approved within the EU for cultivation since 1998. The meeting, which will also impact the next Council of Environmental ministers on June 27th aims to come to a consensus on the future direction on this highly controversial issue. Environmental groups urge the Commission and member states to re-think their approach to risk assessment and take a precautionary approach.</p><p><a href=""> FOE: Hidden uncertainties</a></p><p><a href=" EFSA_demands June 2006.pdf">Greenpeace: Demands to EFSA risk assessment</a></p><p><a href="">FOE: Analysis of Pioneers GM maize 1507 risk assessment</a>

07.06.2006 |

BASF boss tells Wales to leave the EU

Hans Kast, chairman of EuropaBio and CEO of BASF, said European countries which did not want approved GM goods "should get out of the EU and say we want to be on our own."When asked, in an interview for, about the aspiration for a GM-free Wales, he said, "I have not heard that the people of Wales want to be GM free. Would Wales be allowed to say we don't want to have cars?"</p><p><a href="">icWales: - Biotech boss slams GM-free Wales</a></p><p><a href=""> Interview with Hans Kast</a>

01.06.2006 |

vacant EFSA position on GMO risk assessment

<a href="">EFSA: Call for expressions of interest for a position within EFSA - Senior Scientific Officer for the Unit on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO Unit)</a>

31.05.2006 |

EU: EFSA scientific panel shake up

The scientific panel on GMOs of the European Food Safety authority is about to be re-appointed. The 21 scientists from 13 countries have been frequently accused of rubber stamping GMO approvals and neglecting critical science. "EFSA is now installing a new set of scientists and this time, public health and environmental safety must be put before the interests of big business," demanded Friends of the Earth.</p><p><a href="">FoE: Friends of the Earth demands sacking of industry scientists inEFSA shake up</a>

26.05.2006 |

Austrian region of Styria adopts landmark GMO law

For the first time an EU member states region has adopted precautionary legal provisions on co-existence, which require the prevention of any GM contamination in neighboring fields at a level of 0,1%. This flies in the face of the EU Commissions position that co-existence measures should be no stricter than ensuring prevention of 0,9% contamination. The co-existence provisions, which under Austrian law are being set at the regional level, also require mandatory regional approval of GM planting and provide for special measures against impairment of protected areas.</p><p><a href="">Styrian GMO law (English translation)</a></p><p><a href="">Steiermärkisches Gentechnik-Vorsorgegesetz, 2006 (German original)</a>


Local Organising Committee