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Dear friends of GMO-Free Europe!

It has been some time since we last met, in May 2015 in Berlin. Genetically engineered crops and agriculture, it seemed for some time, did not rank very high on many NGOs agendas. There were no new approvals for cultivation and no serious moves to introduce GMOs into Europe’s fields. GMO-free animal feed and Non-GMO labelling of milk, eggs and meat are on a steady rise in many EU member states, despite the large amounts of highly problematic GMO imports from the Americas.

The advent of new genetic engineering technologies, namely CRISPR Cas, is now about to change the game substantially. It will probably open a new chapter of the GMO dispute. A pending judgement of the European Court of Justice could reshape the legal situation and might even open a floodgate of unregulated new GMOs. A joint strategy will be urgently needed. Closely related are concepts of “gene drives” and other strategies of intentionally engineering wild ecosystems. Eradicating entire species as a means of fighting diseases or pests no longer seems to be a taboo for some scientists and companies.

Since we last met, many of us have been involved in campaigns to end the use of Glyphosate. Despite the recent, disappointing EU approval for another five years, this fight will continue and expand from the bottom up in municipalities, regions and at national levels.

Finally, as we expect the EU approval of Bayers takeover of Monsanto, not only concentration of the global seed and pesticide markets is reaching a new peak. It is also expanding towards control over digital farming and big data in agriculture.

These new developments require joint discussions and strategies at national and European level.

We therefore invite you to join us for the 9th European GMO-Free Regions Conference on September 6th and 7th 2018 in Berlin.

We are delighted to organise this conference in co-operation with the network of GMO-Free Regional Governments under the new presidency of the German State of Hesse, represented by its Secretary of State for Agriculture and Environment, Beatrix Tappeser.

The program on Friday 7th of September will be a joint session of representatives of the GMO-free regional governments, NGOs and interested scientists and enterprises. It will focus on the CRISPR Cas challenge as well as the unfinished issue of implementing national bans of GMO cultivation.

For Thursday 6th September we have only planned a joint reception in the evening, hosted by the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Rheinland-Pfalz). We suggest to use morning for informal meetings and arrival and to start joint strategic discussions from 1 pm on.

We would like to jointly design the detailed program and workshops of this day together with you: Please send us your suggestions and offers before Easter (1st April). We also see as an option additional events on Saturday 8th of September, if needed and co-organised.

Please let us know what you think and whether you will be part of this GMO-Free Europe Conference.

Below is a short questionnaire, which you are invited to fill in over the coming weeks.

We very much hope to see you all once again in September and look forward to your response.

Download the questionnaire here


c/o Foundation on Future Farming, Marienstr.19-20, D-10117 Berlin, Germany