Speakers

(Alphabetical order)

 

Arnaud Apoteker, GMO Campaigner, Greens/EFA group at the European Parliament, Belgium

Workshop: Description GMO Risk Assessment and EFSA

Arnaud Apoteker is graduated in Applied Biology and Physico-chemistry at Paris 12 University Physico-chimique Appliquée, de l’Université, and spent 2 years of post-graduate at the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. After a few years in Bolivia, where he worked with the French Agency for development research (IRD) and one year in Paris as a scientific books editor (InterEditions), he entered Greenpeace. During 20 years, he participated in numerous campaigns of the organization (pesticides, protection of the Med sea, ocean ecology, fisheries, nuclear waste and nuclear testing). He's developed the Genetic Engineering campaign in France since 1996, which became one of the priority campaigns in Greenpeace France. He wrote the book Du poisson dans les fraises, Notre alimentation manipulée, (Fish in strawberries; our manipulated food) Ed. La Découverte, Paris, 230 pages, Avril 1999, that has been translated into Italian and Spanish. He is now in charge of the GMO campaign for the Greens/EFA group at the European Parliament.

 

Debbie Barker, International Program Director, Center for Food Safety, USA

Workshop: What’s going on in North America?
Intermezzo III: Greetings from India, USA and China

Debbie Barker is the international director for the Center for Food Safety (CFS), a legal and public policy institute in Washington, D.C. She was formerly the director of the International Forum on Globalization (IFG), a think tank that analyses and critiques the manifestation of various forms of economic globalization. Debbie Barker recently authored The Wheel of Life: Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy, commissioned by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. She was on the international committee of authors for the World Bank and United Nation major report released in 2008, the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). She has edited, co-authored and contributed to numerous other publications.

 

Paul-Bertrand Barets, Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and to the Deputy Minister for Transportation, Sea and Fisheries

Plenary session: National bans on GMO cultivation – how to get it right?

CAREER
Since may 2012: Diplomatic Adviser to the Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy and to the Deputy Minister for Transportation, Sea and Fisheries.
Mars 2009 – may 2012: Head of the International Economic Affairs Department, at the Directorate General for Global Affairs, Development and Partnerships, France Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
2007-2009: G8 Foreign Affairs Sous-Sherpa Assistant and Deputy Head of the International Financial Affairs Department, France Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
2005 – 2007 : French Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels, Counsellor. 2003 - 2005 : Deputy Head of the Insurance Office, French Treasury.
2001 - 2003 : Economist at the French Debt Agency (“Agence France Trésor”), French Treasury.
EDUCATION
Graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure – Ulm in Philosophy, History and Economics (Agrégation).
LAST PUBLICATIONS
“The European Union’s representation in international organisations”, in Mondes – Les Cahiers du Quai d’Orsay, Winter 2010.
« Le droit communautaire des aides d’Etat dans les secteurs de l’assurance et de la banque : articulation avec les règles prudentielles et reconnaissance de l’intérêt général », Concurrences, 2007.
Date of birth: April 26, 1972.
Two sons.

 

José Bové, Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (Vice-Chair), Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Belgium

Plenary session: Opening speeches by organizers and sponsors – “GMOs and gmo-free agriculture - where do we stand?”

José Bové (born June 11, 1953) is a French farmer and syndicalist, member of the alter-globalization movement, and spokesman for Via Campesina. In 1987, he formed the Confédération Paysanne, an agricultural union that places its highest political values on humans and the environment, promoting food sovereignty. José Bové is also a prominent opponent of genetically modified organisms. From June to august 2002, he stays in jell for the dismantling of a restaurant Mac Donald’s, a fast-food chain. On June 22, 2003, Bové began serving a sentence of ten months for the destruction of transgenic crops. On 7 June 2009, he was elected to the European Parliament as a member of Europe Écologie, a coalition of French environmentalist political parties. He is vice-chair of the European parliament’s Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development.

 

Kim Dault, CA Label GMOs Ballot Initiative Campaign, USA

Workshop: What’s going on in North America?

Kim Dault is a volunteer leader in the San Francisco Bay Area for Proposition 37, the California ballot initiative that would require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods - a grassroots movement demanding the fundamental right to know what we are eating. She is a Slow Food/Slow Money member, supporter of sustainable agriculture and - since learning about GMOs just one short year ago - now a passionate food activist. With inspiration from the campaign - between organizing the community, talking to voters, and calling celebrities for endorsements - she's focused her own event planning business, Good Sense Events, on supporting eco-conscious living and food justice. Kim is also attending the Terra Madre/Salone del Gusto to further represent the Prop 37 campaign, and to study what's happening with good, clean, fair food on the international scene.

 

Steve Emmott, British lawyer, UK

Workshop: Practical & participatory, biodiversity oriented research projects and concepts in the CAP and 8th Research Framework
Plenary debate: Where do we go from here?

Steve Emmott is a British lawyer who has campaigned on genetic engineering issues for many years. He helped run the UK Genetics Forum, the first European NGO dedicated to the subject, and was a founder member of GENET. He has worked as an expert advisor for the Greens in the European Parliament and is currently a member of the executive committee of the European Green Party and one of the co-ordinators of the Global Greens movement.

 

Anaïs Fourest, Greenpeace, France

Workshop: How to block the crops?

Anaïs Fourest studied general engineering and then specialised herself on environmental and sustainable management. She first worked with French fruits and vegetables producers coordinating collaborative works on sustainable farming, packaging and retailing. Then, she spent 3 years as a consultant on climate-energy, environmental and sustainable issues for local and regional authorities and companies. Still passionate about agriculture and food, she assisted food companies on their climate and energy policies building and implementation to reduce their environmental impact and improve their sustainability. She also involved herself on climate-energy and farming works, on technical and institutional levels. She chose to go further and is now campaigning at Greenpeace France against GMO and to promote ecological farming.

 

Sofia Gatica, Madres of Ituzaingó, Argentina

Workshop: Argentina: Fatal Soya & The Mothers of Ituzaingó
Plenary session: How “roundup ready” is Europe’s agricultural policy?

Argentina is the world’s third largest exporter of soybeans. Every year, the industry spreads over 50 million gallons of agro-toxins, namely glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, and endosulfan through aerial spraying over farmland. After Sofia Gatica’s newborn died of agro-toxin exposure in 1999, the Argentine mother of three, co-founded the Mothers of Ituzaingó, a group of 16 mothers working together to put a stop to Monsanto’s indiscriminate use of agrochemicals that was poisoning their community. Following her baby’s death, she learned that the population of her poor, working-class Ituzaingó Annex, a community in Cordoba, has cancer rates 41 times the national average as well as high rates of neurological and respiratory diseases, birth defects, and infant mortality. Gatica has faced tremendous opposition, including death threats. She was honored as one of six grassroots environmentalists from around the world to receive the 2012 Goldman Environmental Prize. Speakerstour Sofía Gatica und Maria Godoy 6-21 Sept. 2012

 

Volker Gehrmann, Foundation on Future Farming / Save Our Seeds, Germany

Workshop: Argentina: Fatal Soya & The Mothers of Ituzaingó

Volker Gehrmann graduated in Geography and Ethnology. For several years he worked as a Consultant for the German Agency for International Cooperation in Latinamerica. Since 2009 he works for the Foundation on Future Farming and Save Our Seeds in Berlin. At the moment he is organising the Speakerstour with Sofía Gatica and Maria Godoy from 6-21 Sept. 2012

 

Eva Gelinsky, IG Saatgut, Foundation ProSpecieRara, Switzerland

Workshop: Patents on life – update and next steps

Eva Gelinsky works for The Initiative for GE-free Seeds and Breeding (IG Saatgut) and for the Swiss foundation ProSpecieRara (scientific staff). She just published a study about biopatents ("Biopatents and agricultural modernization. Patents on plants and their possible impact on the work of preservation and organic breeding organizations in the field of GE-free seed"). She is a member of the Federal Ethics Committee on Non-Human Biotechnology in Switzerland and participates in the group of the "Rheinauer Theses on the Rights of Plants". Eva Gelinsky lives in Switzerland and Germany.

 

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle, European Food Safety Authority, Belgium

Plenary session: Upcoming GMO approvals and the state of risk assessment

Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has been EFSA’s Executive Director since July 2006. Her renewed five-year mandate started on 1 July 2011. Throughout her career, Ms Geslain-Lanéelle has held several positions of responsibility within the food sector. In 2000, she was appointed Director General of the Food Department within the French Agricultural Ministry at the height of the BSE crisis in France. In this post, she was responsible for managing health risks related to food, animal health and welfare, and plant protection as well as risk communications. Ms Geslain-Lanéelle remained in this post until April 2003 when she became Regional Director of Agriculture and Forestry for the Ile de France region. She has held a number of international positions, notably as Chair of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on General Principles in 2001 and 2002, as well as Deputy Director of the French Department of International Trade from 1998 to 2000, managing French food aid. Here she worked closely with the European Commission and several other international organisations, working to promote the European agricultural model. She also worked at the European Commission from 1991 to 1993 as a National Expert at DG III (DG Industry and Internal Market) in the area of food safety. Catherine Geslain-Lanéelle has a Master of Science from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon and from the Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts.

 

Isidoro Gonzalez, Committee in Defence of the Environment of La Pastora, Paraguay

Workshop: Argentina: Fatal Soya & The Mothers of Ituzaingó

Isidoro Gonzalez is Coordinator of the Committee in Defence of the Environment, of La Pastora. The Committee has been leading efforts to develop and implement Paraguay’s first ever rural land-use plan for the municipality of La Pastora, with the aim of protecting small-scale family farms and important natural resources of the community from the advance of soy.

 

Walter Haefeker, European Professional Beekeepers Association, Germany

Workshop: Why do honeybees need a GMO-free Europe
Intermezzo: Why honeybees need GMO free Europe and how bee-keepers have changed the co-existence debate

Walter Haefeker is a professional beekeeper and has been serving as President of the European Professional Beekeepers Association (EPBA) since 2008 as well as on the Board of Directors of the German Professional Beekeepers Association (DBIB) since 2004 and is the coordinator of the International Federation of Beekeepers’ Associations (Apimondia) Working Group 10 on GMOs and the impact on the beekeeping sector. Walter Haefeker is the author of numerous articles on coexistence between beekeeping and GMO cultivation.

 

Benedikt Haerlin, Foundation on Future Farming, Germany

Workshop: GMO contamination of Seed – political, technical, legal situation
Workshop: Practical & participatory, biodiversity oriented research projects and concepts in the CAP and 8th Research Framework
Plenary session: Opening speeches by organizers and sponsors – “GMOs and gmo-free agriculture - where do we stand?”

Benedikt Haerlin works for the German Foundation on Future Farming in Berlin, Germany. He co-ordinates the European initiative "Save our Seeds" (www.saveourseeds.org) to keep conventional and organic seeds free of GMOs and is also a member of the International Commission on the Future of Food (www.future-food.org). He represented NGOs in the Worldbank and UN led International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (www.agassessment.org). Haerlin was a global coordinator of Greenpeace International’s Genetic Engineering Campaign from 1996 to 2002. He continues to advise the organization. From 1984 to 1989 Haerlin served as a Member of the European Parliament (Green Group), where he specialized in genetic engineering issues. Before, he worked as a publisher and journalist in Berlin. He studied philosophy and psychology in Tübingen and Berlin. He was born in Stuttgart in 1957.

 

Martin Häusling, Committee on Budgetary Control, Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Belgium

Plenary session: How “roundup ready” is Europe’s agricultural policy?

Martin Häusling is a German MEP of the Greens/EFA group and the coordinator of this group in the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament. He is the rapporteur of the report "The protein deficit: What solution for a long standing problem". Besides this, he runs an organic farm in Hesse (Germany) with 60 cows and its own cheese dairy. He is a member of the following associations: Bioland, Arbeitsgemeinschaft bäuerliche Landwirtschaft, AbL (a farmer's consortium of family-run farms), Upländer Bauernmolkerei (dairy), BUND, ATTAC, Kellerwald-Edersee Regional Association, Bundesverband Deutscher Milchviehhalter, BDM (a German Dairy Farmers' Association). Martin Häusling is one of the three spokespersons of the GMO-free Hesse-Alliance, who signed the "Wiesbadener declaration - No GMO on fields and in food in Hesse". Martin Häusling has been deeply committed to GMO-free farming since his term as a member of the Hesse Parliament in 2003.

 

Siegrid Herbst, IG Saatgut, Germany

Workshop: GMO contamination of Seed – political, technical, legal situation

Siegrid Herbst is coordinating the Initiative for GE-free Seeds and Breeding (IG Saatgut) since 2005. This includes organising knowledge transfer, advocacy work and networking. On possible impacts of labelling thresholds for GMO on GE-free seed production she just wrote an IG Saatgut report. Siegrid Herbst got involved in defending GE-free agriculture in 2004, at first starting as a co-ordinator in a “Regionen aktiv” project of the AbL (a farmers’ association for sustainable farming) aiming to set up a GE-free region and to bolster GE-free agriculture in the area of Hamm, Unna and Dortmund. She studied landscape planning and environmental development at the University of Hanover.

 

Paul Holmbeck, Økologisk Landsforening, Denmark

Plenary session: Upcoming GMO approvals and the state of risk assessment

Paul Holmbeck is director of Organic Denmark (Økologisk Landsforening), Denmarks association of organic farmers, consumers and food companies, which represent 90% of the organic production in Denmark. Organic Denmark is a member of IFOAM EU Group, and will be speaking on IFOAMs behalf at the conference. As a lobbyist for the organic sector since 1995, Paul Holmbeck played a coordinating role in work for a total EU ban on GMOs in organic farming, the first national GMO law in the EU and a unanimous vote in the Danish Parliament advocating national sovereignty in GMO crop approval, and criticizing the lack of independent research in GMO effects on health and environment.

 

Florianne Koechlin, Blueridge Institute, Switzerland

Workshop: Practical & participatory, biodiversity oriented research projects and concepts in the CAP and 8th Research Framework

Swiss biologist and chemist Florianne Koechlin, born in 1948, is well known as a critic of genetic engineering and for her various books and articles. She is Managing Director of the Blueridge-Institute. She has written several books including, 'Mozart und die List der Hirse. Natur neu denken' (Mozart and the cunning of the millet. Rethinking nature', 2012), “Zellgeflüster" (“Cell Whispers", 2005) and “Pflanzen Palaver. Belauschte Geheimnisse der botanischen Welt" (“Plant Chat. Overheard Secrets from the Botanical World").

 

Frédéric Jacquemart, Inf'OGM, France

Workshop: Description GMO Risk Assessment and EFSA

Frédéric Jacquemart is the President (chairman of the board) of Inf'OGM. Doctor of Medicine in bacteriology, virology, immunology, parasitology and hematology Bachelor's degree in philosophy. Assistant in bacteriology at the medical teaching hospital Paris XIII; Voluntary physician in Africa; Head of laboratory in Noumea; Researcher in the neurochemistry at the laboratory led by Pr. Baumann (hospital Pitié-Salpétrière, Paris); Researcher in the immunology laboratory of Pr. Coutinho at the Pasteur Institute of Paris; Head of the GIET research association, responsible for biotechnologies for France Nature Environment (largest environmental association in France).

 

Guy Kastler, Réseau Semences Paysannes, Via Campesina, France

Workshop: Upcoming seed legislation

Guy Kastler, peasant in the South of France, representative of the Europe Region (ECVC) at the commission "biodiversity" of Via Campesina International, representing Confederation Paysanne on seeds and GMOs, director general of French Peasant Seed Network.

 

Michiyo Koketsu, GMO Campaigner, Consumers Union of Japan

Workshop : What is the situation in Japan on GM papaya

Michiyo Koketsu is a GMO campaigner for the Consumers Union of Japan since 2006. She has been involved in anti-GM campaign with the NO! GMO Campaign and other groups. She organized a civic event named “Planet Diversity in Nagoya” with other NGOs during COP10/MOP5 in Japan in 2010.

 

 

Antje Kölling, IFOAM EU Group, Belgium

Workshop: Upcoming seed legislation

Antje Koelling works for the IFOAM EU Group since summer 2009. She is responisble to coordinate the work in the areas Common Agriculture Policies, biodiversity, GMOs, climate and environmental aspects of agriculture. Before working at the IFOAM EU Group, she has worked during five years as political advisor for a Member of the European Parliament in the Committee for Agriculture and Rural Development. Being agronomist by education, she worked in different jobs connected to farming before coming to Brussels, gaining experience in agricultural practice, and politics. The IFOAM EU Group is the European working level within the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements. It brings together more than 250 organisations, associations and enterprises from all EU-27, EFTA andcandidate countries. IFOAM´s goal is the worldwide adoption of ecologically, socially and economically sound systems that are based on the principles of Organic Agriculture.

 

Rajesh Krishnan, Greenpeace, India

Workshop: GM crops- the real story from India and China
Intermezzo III: Greetings from India, USA and China

Rajesh Krishnan is a senior campaigner. He has been campaigning for shifting the paradigm of agriculture in India from the intensive model which is being promoted by the policy makers and the agro input industry to a sustainable ecological agricultural one, which conserves the natural resources and ensures livelihood security for those in the farming while providing food security for the nation. One of the main focus for the last 8 years have been the campaign against the open release of GMOs in India. He was actively involved in the public campaign that lead to a moratorium on Bt Brinjal [Egg plant], the first GM food crop to have reached commercialisation stage in India and continue to engage with policy makers, political parties, scientists, farmer unions, civil society organisations and larger public to ensure that our food, farming and environment are not threatened by GMOs.

 

Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty, Coalition for a GM-Free India, India

Workshop: GM crops- the real story from India and China

Sreedevi Lakshmi Kutty (Devi) is currently based in The Hague. She works with Thanal, a research and advocacy group based in Kerala, India, that focuses on agriculture, food and environment issues. Thanal is an active member group of the Coalition for a GM-Free India. Devi is also a founder member of Urban Leaves, an urban farming group in Mumbai, India. She was previously associated with Community Farm Alliance in Kentucky, USA. She has a Masters degree in Sociology from the US.

 

Corinne Lepage, Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, Belgium

Plenary session: National bans on GMO cultivation – how to get it right?

French politician Corinne Lepage trained as a lawyer before setting up a practice specialised in public and environmental law, where she made her name defending victims of the Amoco Cadiz oil spill in 1978. She went to defend victims of the Erika disaster in 1999 (which is still at trial). She was also a founding member of the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering. In 1995, she was made Environment minister in the French government just as France was taking over the presidency of the Council. She helped set up the prevention and precaution committee, and put in the place the first national sustainable development strategy in 1997, removed public powers from the asbestos committee, prevented the relaunch of the Superphénix nuclear project, and pushed through a moratorium on GMOs. In the ALDE group she is closely involved with the directives concerning GMO, IPPC, RoHS, WEEE, novel foods, information for consumers, and on themes such as climate change, the energy mix, independent appraisals, the link between health and the environment, the freedom of the web, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms.

 

Les Levidow, a Senior Research Fellow at the Open University, UK

Workshop: Reclaiming the Bio-economy

Les Levidow is a Senior Research Fellow at the Open University, UK. He has been researching agri-environmental issues of technoscientific innovation since the late 1980s, especially through EC-funded projects. Case studies have included: agbiotech, coexistence, the bioeconomy, bioenergy and alternative agro-food networks. He has participated in FP7 ‘cooperative research’ projects, including civil society organisations as full partners. The CREPE project report, ‘What Bioeconomy for Europe?’*, shows how R&D priorities favour different potential futures. As well as numerous articles, he is co-author of two books: Governing the Transatlantic Conflict over Agricultural Biotechnology: Contending Coalitions, Trade Liberalisation and Standard Setting (Routledge, 2006); and GM Food on Trial: Testing European Democracy (Routledge, 2010). He is editor of the journal Science as Culture. * Copies of the CREPE bioeconomy report will be available at the workshop.

 

Eric Meunier, Inf'OGM, France

Workshop: Cisgenesis and other 'new' GE technologies
Intermezzo II: Don’t call me GMO no more! Will “Cisgenetics” and other GMO-mutations reframe the GMO debate?

Eric Meunier is working for the french citizen watchdog Inf'OGM since 2002 as a scientific journalist mainly focusing on GMOs and some other techniques of biotechnology. Graduated in biochemistry in Université Pierre et Marie Curie in 2000, he has been working for french NGOs since then. Among different papers, he coordinated the Inf'OGM's report "Nex techniques for the alteration of the living, for whom? Why?" which has just been translated in english in august 2012.

 

Maria del Milagro Godoy, Madres of Ituzaingó, Argentina

Workshop: Argentina: Fatal Soya & The Mothers of Ituzaingó
Plenary session: How “roundup ready” is Europe’s agricultural policy?

Maria del Milagro Godoy: My name is Maria, I am 63 years old, I have no children of my own but have been living in my house with 5 children of my husband. I live in the ITUZAINGO ANEXO neighborhood since 1990, 700 meters from the fields where they plant soy. I approached the group “Mothers of Ituzaingo” as a matter of solidarity in 2002 believing that it doesn’t affect me because of being not so close to the rural area. But after a survey that we realized we noticed that the whole area was contaminated. My participation has been constant then next to Sofia and the other partners, some of them left in 2005 and others continue not giving up.

 

Heike Moldenhauer, Friends of the Earth Germany

Workshop: How to block the crops?
Workshop: HR crops ante portas– how to hold the EU door closed?
Plenary session: How “roundup ready” is Europe’s agricultural policy?

Heike Moldenhauer, born 1964, received her degree in philosophy and in German language and literature from the Free University in Berlin. She is head of the section for biotechnology policy at Friends of the Earth Germany, and member of the GMO steering group of Friends of the Earth Europe.

 

Chiaki Nishibun, NO! GMO Campaign, Japan

Workshop : What is the situation in Japan on GM papaya

Chiaki Nishibun has been involved in anti-GM Campaign and a campaign for improving self-sufficiency ratio in Japan’s food supply since 1997 as a member of Consumers Cooperative. She is a member of steering committee of NO! GMO Campaign.

 

 

 

 

Elias Diaz Peña, Sobrevivencia – Friends of the Earth Paraguay

Workshop: Argentina: Fatal Soya & The Mothers of Ituzaingó

Elias Diaz Peña is Coordinator of Sobrevivencia – Friends of the Earth Paraguay. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1992, jointly with Oscar Rivas, for their efforts to protect the ecosystems of the Paraná River and Paraguay Rivers. The main focus of Sobrevivencia’s campaigning in Paraguay includes protection of regional water resources, and food sovereignty. Sobrevivencia are working with grassroots organisations to protect rural communities from the rapid expansion of large scale soy cultivation taking place in Paraguay.

 

Heidemarie Porstner, Global 2000, Austria

Workshop: How to block the crops?

Heidemarie Porstner is working for Friends of the Earth Austria - which is GLOBAL 2000 since 2010. She started as a volunteer then supported the anti-nuclear campaigner. Since October 2011, she is working as a campaigner on the topics of GMO, food and agriculture whereat GMOs are her main topic. Heidemarie studied nutritional science at the university of Vienna, Milano and Rome where she wrote her thesis. She is part of the consulting board of the platform ARGE Gentechnikfrei in Austria and also of the association Danube Soya (Donau Soja). And she attended the GENET-Meeting for the first time in June 2012. 

 

Christof Potthof, Gen-ethical Network (GeN), Germany

Workshop: Reclaiming the Bio-economy

Christof Potthof is a full staff member of Gen-ethical Network (GeN), based in Berlin, Germany. The organization works on a broad range of biotechnology issues, including genetic engineering in agriculture and food production, reproductive technologies and biopolitics. Christof has a German diploma in biology. He works in several coalitions on the local, regional, national and the European level. Christof is one of the editor‘s of GeNs bi-monthly journal GID (published in German).

 

Eric Poudelet, Director of the Safety of the Food Chain, DG SANCO, European Commission, Belgium

Plenary session: National bans on GMO cultivation – how to get it right?

- Graduated from the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort, France in 1975
- National civil service at the Island of La Réunion, France 1977-1978
- The Ministry of Agriculture, France: Departmental Director Assistant at veterinary services in La Réunion 1978 -1983, Departmental Director of veterinary services in Vendée 1983-1988
- Veterinary inspector, first as National Expert seconded to the European Commission, Directorate General Agriculture, then as a Commission official, from 1988-1999
- Head of Unit "Food Security- Biological hazard" at DG Agriculture and then at DG Health and Consumers 1999-2007
- Currently Director of the "Food Chain Security" Direction at the DG Health and Consumers of the European Commission

 

Thomas Radetzki, Alliance for the Protection of Bees against Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, Germany

Workshop: Why do honeybees need a GMO-free Europe?
Intermezzo: Why honeybees need GMO free Europe and how bee-keepers have changed the co-existence debate

Thomas Radetzki is a professional beekeeper and founder as well as CEO of Mellifera e. V, pioneer organization in organic beekeeping. He has more than 30 years´ experience in beekeeping. In his work, he combines natural science and a spiritual and loving approach to the bees. Thomas Radetzki´s main aim is to keep the bees healthy in a natural surrounding. He is a scientist as well as a practitioner. Thus, he also founded and still engages in "Netzwerk Blühende Landschaft", an organization that brings forward wild flowers all over Germany to ensure sufficient forage for bees and other insects. He is also politically active against genetically modified organisms in agriculture and initiated the Alliance for the Protection of Bees against Genetic Engineering in Agriculture. The Alliance supports bee-keeper Karl Heinz Bablok in his legal action against GMO pollution in his honey that took him to the European Court of Justice last year.

 

Gebhard Rossmanith, Bingenheimer Saatgut AG, Germany

Workshop: Upcoming seed legislation

Gebhard Rossmanith (Dipl. Ing hort.) is the Chief executive officer of Bingenheimer Saatgut AG, Germany. Before he started his work at the organic seed company in 2001, he worked for 20 years as a professional biodynamic vegetable grower in different relations. In the company he is especially responsible for seed production, quality assurance, personal affairs, breeding aspects, political representative of the company. As the representative of Bingenheimer Saatgut he is member of diverse working groups, institutes and associations: Kultursaat e.V. (association for biodynamic vegetable breeding), Saat:Gut e.V. (association for organic plant breeding), IG Saatgut (initiative for GE-free seeds and breeding), ABDP (association of biodynamic plant breeders), ECO-PB (Ecologic Consortium of Organic Plant Breeding), Demeter e.V. (association of biodynamic agriculture Germany, IFOAM EU-Group (G. Rossmanith is member of the IFOAM seed task force), Official working group of organic seed affairs in Germany, Initiative circle of biodynamic and organic vegetable seed.

 

Mute Schimpf, Friends of the Earth Europe, Belgium

Workshop: How to block the crops? 

Mute Schimpf studied Organic and International Agriculture. After three years as an editor for the magazine “Bauernstimme”, she coordinated the German network for GMO-free Agriculture on behalf of AbL, the German Member of Via Campesina. Followed by some years as a policy advisor on Agriculture Trade Policy and Biodiversity with the Catholic Development NGO Misereor. In September 2009 she started as an Assistand for the Green MEP, Martin Häusling. Since June 2010 as Food Campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe.

 

Carl Schlyter, Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (Vice-Chair) Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Belgium

Plenary session: Upcoming GMO approvals and the state of risk assessment

Carl Schlyter was born in 1968. He studied chemical engineering specialising in biotechnology and the environment (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, 1987-1994). Research study on impurities in coal (Miami University, Ohio, 1989). Museum guide (1994). Political secretary of the Green Party in Stockholm City Hall (1994-1995). Assistant, European Parliament (1996). He was responsible for Agenda 21 and the environment, culture and sports administration, Stockholm (1997). Adviser to the Green Group in the Committee on Budgetary Control (1997-2004). Member of the Miljöpartiet de gröna (Swedish Green Party) executive (2000-2008). Sweden's representative in the European Green Federation (since 2001). Sweden's representative in the Global Greens (since 2002). Member of the Board of ActionAid Sweden (since 2006).

 

Mahi Sideridou, Greenpeace European Unit, Belgium

Plenary session: National bans on GMO cultivation – how to get it right?

Mahi Sideridou is the Managing Director of Greenpeace European Unit. She has studied physics and also has a master's on energy and environmental policy analysis. She has been working for Greenpeace for twelve years, almost a decade of which has been spent working on EU policies and politics from Brussels. She is a Greek citizen. She is married and has one child.


Noa Simon, Centre Apicole de Recherche et Information, Belgium

Workshop: Why do honeybees need a GMO-free Europe?

Noa Simon is a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine (DVM) working at the Belgian CARI (Centre Apicole de Recherche et Information) from 2009. Her job deals mainly with bee pathology and toxicology, specially paying attention to the influence of the environment on bee health. Likewise, she follows up the evolution on these dossiers at international level. Lately, she has developed a report for the European Beekeeping Coordination about the risk assessment developed prior to the approval of pesticides on bees. Due to their environmental and legal implications, GMOs are one of the environmental threats for bees and beekeepers that she works on.

 

Bart Staes, Committee on Budgetary Control (Vice-Chair), Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, Belgium

Plenary session: National bans on GMO cultivation – how to get it right?

Bart Staes (born August 7, 1958) is a teacher from profession and was bitten by the political virus from an early age. In recent years he was the vice-Chair of the Commitee Budgetary Control in the European Parliament and coordinator for the greens in the field of the fight against fraud and corruption in the EU. Besides this crucial issue he for years focusses on food related issues, agriculture and consumer health. He is a substitute Member of the Commitee Development and the Commitee Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. He published several books on the hormone use in the meat-industry and recently published a book on GMO. As chairman of the Russia delegation, he was heavily engaged in human rights issues. Staes was Founder of the Chechenya Intergroup in the EP and defender of the Chechen case and that of other minorities and refugees in the EU.

 

Pierre Sultana, Arche Noah, Belgium

Workshop: Patents on life – update and next steps
Workshop: Upcoming seed legislation

Pierre Sultana was born in 1984 and grew up in a French farm. He studied EU and WTO laws at the University of Rennes, France. After he gained positive experiences in the legal services of European and French institutions, he became a volunteer at IFOAM EU Group. He is presently fighting for seed diversity and is presently the Brussels representative for Arche Noah, a Central European seed savers organisation since 2012 and also collaborates with the No Patent on Seeds coalition, coordinated by Christoph Then.

 

Christoph Then, Testbiotech, No Patents on Seeds, Germany

Workshop: Patents on life – update and next steps
Workshop: Description GMO Risk Assessment and EFSA
Plenary session: Upcoming GMO approvals and the state of risk assessment
 

Christoph Then is a qualified veterinary surgeon who has been working for over 15 years in the field of biotechnology. From 1992 until 1998 he coordinated the No Patent On Life! campaign in Germany. He worked from 1995 until 1998 as an expert advisor on agriculture and genetic engineering for the Green Party in the Bavarian Landtag (legislative assembly in a German state). From 1999 until 2007 he was Greenpeace Germany’s expert on agriculture, genetic engineering and consumer affairs. In 2008 he was co-founder of the expert organisation Testbiotech that advocats for independent impact assessment in the field of biotechnology. Christoph Then is advisor to Gen-ethischen Netzwerk (Berlin) and a member of Gesellschaft fuer Oekologische Forschung (Society of Ecological Research Association) based in Munich. Christoph Then also acts as a Coordinator for the Coalition "No Patents on Seeds" and is a special adviser for Greenpeace on this issue.

 

Alina Ujupan, Member of the Cabinet, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, Belgium

Plenary session: How “roundup ready” is Europe’s agricultural policy?

- Quality Policy and Organic Farming
- Cross Compliance
- Structural Funds
- Employment and Social Affairs
- Public Health, Sanitary and Veterinary Affairs (SANCO)
- Economic and Monetary Affairs
- Bioenergy, Biomass, Forestry, GMO and genetic resources
- Environment and Energy
- Climate Change
- Science and Research
- EU Member states: RO, HU, BG, PL, EL, CY

 

Herman van Bekkem, Greenpeace, Netherlands

Workshop: HR crops ante portas – how to hold the EU door closed?
Workshop: Cisgenesis and other 'new' GE technologies

Herman van Bekkem is GE and agriculture campaigner for Greenpeace Netherlands and involved in the Greenpeace campaign for five years. His scientific background is in environmental social sciences, focusing on sustainable policy development. Due to his experience in (tropical) agriculture and his scientific background Herman is a true generalist on GMO policies, agriculture and related issues.

 

Organizers

The GMO-free Europe Conference 2012 is organized by:

  • Friends of the Earth Europe
  • Genet
  • greenpeace
  • Genethisches Netzwerk
  • The Greens
  • IFOAM eu group
  • Save Our Seeds
  • Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft

 

The 7th GMO-free Regions Conference is made possible by generous donations from:

  • Stiftung GEKKO
GMO-free Europe 2012
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In-kind suppport by