European Conference on GMO-free Regions, biodiversity & rural development, January 22/23 2005

First European GMO free conference calls for regional self determination

The Regions of Europe should be given the final say on the growing of genetically modified crops (GMOs) in their area, a major European conference concluded in Berlin, January 22/23 2005. With over 100 regional and 3500 sub-regional areas now declaring themselves GMO-free, it was time for European law to be changed to protect such areas from the cultivation of GM crops. 200 delegates from GMO free regions and from 30 European countries called on the European institutions to protect conventional and organic seeds from GMO contamination, to establish the regions right to stay GMO-free. Conference organisers concluded: “There is fast growing and unstoppable movement against the cultivation of genetically modified crops all over Europe. A new alliance of local and regional authorities, nature protection agencies and farmers unions with environmental and consumer organizations has emerged to defend their freedom of choice and the self-determination of the regions." Participants also endorsed a joint manifesto for GMO-free regions. (text in italian)

List of participants

Proceedings of the Conference 

more press information

Conference Manifesto

The conference was organised by GENET, the European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering, the Assembly of European Regions and the Foundation on Future Farming, with support from the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation.