European GMO-Free Regions Conference

13.01.2021 |

Generation unknown: exposing the truth behind the new generation of GMOs

As Europe's farming sector faces up to the combined challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and an increasingly globalised market, a new generation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) is being portrayed as a magical solution.

Some have suggested that these new genetically modified crops, animals and microbes should be exempt from GMO safety legislation, introduced to protect consumers and the environment from the risks posed by GMOs.

This paper argues that these new forms of genetic modification (including techniques such as gene editing) would not make the farming system more resilient to extreme weather, reduce biodiversity loss, or result in healthier food and fairer incomes for farmers, and because of the risks they pose, must be controlled by the existing laws.

It asks key questions as to who will benefit from this new generation of GMOs, who does the technology empower, who does it disempower and who owns it? It also argues for support for genuine solutions that will benefit farmers, consumers and nature in our crisis-engulfed world.

11.01.2021 |

Big data: a friend or foe for small farmers?

When we think of agricultural technology, what often comes to mind is tractors and harvesters. But, in today’s world, we now have drones that hover over crops to detect pests, sensors that monitor soil temperature or moisture, algorithms that advise on the amount of fertilizer or pesticide to use and blockchain systems that allow a product to be traced from origin to consumer.

Technology is rapidly expanding in the agricultural sector, with the digital farming market expected to reach the US$15 billion mark (around €12.5 billion) in 2021, according to PA Consulting, three times more than the US$5 billion generated in 2015. Included in this growth is the value of the software, algorithms, platforms and links between farming and technology hardware, the consulting firm explains. And one of the keys is big data, the gathering of vast amounts of information, in this case about crop characteristics, growing conditions and processes.

02.01.2021 |

Mexico farm lobby blasts ban on GMO corn; organic growers welcome it

MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexico’s main agricultural lobby on Saturday criticized the government’s decision to ban genetically modified corn, while organic growers hailed the move that should protect smaller farmers.

Mexico will “revoke and refrain from granting permits for the release of genetically modified corn seeds into the environment,” stated a decree issued Thursday evening, which also mandated the phase out of GMO corn imports by 2024.

Proponents of GMO corn say the ban on domestic cultivation would limit the options of Mexican farmers, while phasing out its importation could imperil the food chain.

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Photo: © Sanjay Kumar

GMO-Free Europe, Berlin 2018

More than 200 participants from GMO Free Regions throughout Europe, as well as guests from North-America, Asia, New Zealand and Africa (35 nations in total) met in Berlin to discuss new an old challenges of genetic engineering in agriculture as well as the environment at large. They were relieved and reassured by the recent European Court of Justice’ decision that all forms of genetic engineering, including CRISPR-Cas and other forms of so called “gene editing” fall under the European directive on GMOs. This requires risk assessment and specific approval for each GM product, traceability and labelling. For further details and documentation see conference website.

GMO-Free Europe, Berlin 2015

From 6 to 8th May 2015 more than 400 representatives of regional governments, business, science and civil society from 60 countries and all continents met for the 8th conference and 10th anniversary of GMO Free Europe. For further details and documentation see conference website.

GMO-Free Europe
Brussels 2012

The 7th European GMO Free Regions Conference welcomed 200 participants from 33 countries inSeptember 2012 in Brussels. Key issues were the question of national bans for the cultivation of GMO crops. Sofia Gatica and Maria Godoy, two mothers from Argentina, called upon Europeans to stop the import of GM soybeans. Conference proceedings


GMO-Free Europe
Brussels 2010

300 people from 37 countries joined the 6th European Conference of GMO-Free Regions in Brussels and Ghent, 16-18 September 2010, including EU-Commissioner John Dalli, heads of supermarkets and leaders of the GMO Free movement inside and outside Europe.  Conference proceedings and audiovisuals

Food+Democracy
Lucern 2009

On 24/25th April 2009 the 5th European GMO Free Conference was hosted by the Swiss movement against GMOs in Lucern, including the Speaker of the National Council and the head of Parliament of the Canton Lucerne. They welcomed 250 representatives from 39 countries. Proceedings 


Planet Diversity
Bonn 2008

At the occasion of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity's meeting in Bonn, Germany, more than 700 representatives from 100 countries around the world gathered on April 12 to 16 in Bonn, Germany, to celebrate gmo-free agricultural diversity. A global festival, demonstration and 3 day conference with guests from all around the world marked the GMO Free Regions event 2008. Proceedings

GMO-Free Regions
Brussels 2007

300 participants from 37 countries gathered at the European Parliament in Brussels, 19-20 April 2007 to discuss strategies of the GMO free regions movement as well as burning issues such as the impacts of agro-fuels on sustainable agriculture. Proceedings

 

 

GMO-Free Regions
Berlin 2006

250 representatives of regional governments, municipalities, companies, farmers unions, consumer and environmental organisations and initiatives from 35 countries met in Berlin on January 14 - 15, 2006, for the 2nd GMO Free Regions conference.
Proceedings

GMO-FREE Europe, Berlin 2005

The First GMO Free Regions Conference took place in Berlin 22-23rd January 2005 in the Harnack house of the Max-Planck Society. 190 participants from 25 countries adopted the "Berlin Manifesto" of GMO Free Regions in Europe. More Details

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