Workshop C1: “Co-Existence?” – Theories and Realities

Saturday, 25th April 2009, 12.30 – 15.00

Chair and moderator:

Marianne Künzle, Greenpeace Switzerland


1: Josef Hoppichler, Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas, Austria
2: Bernadette Oehen, FiBL Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Switzerland
3: Gabriel Paun, Agent Green, Romania


Contamination of GE-free agriculture is inevitable once a region or country starts to grow GE plants. There doesn’t seem to be a difference: neither countries with already implemented co-existence laws nor countries still lacking of a legal framework are protected from GM contamination.
On the other hand, coexistence issues have been to a large extent focused on technical measures to avoid the contamination of gm material in non-gm crops or costs and benefits for farmers growing GM crop. In this workshop calculation of the coexistence costs for the gm non-gm maize producer in three case study regions will be presented.
We will also gain an overview about different national legal measurements which aim to protect GE-free cultivation from being contaminated – and how so-called „co-existence“ strategies so far failed as soon as GE cultivation has been approved. We will discuss options how to succesfully keep a region or country GE free.


(1) Josef Hoppichler
-Global GMO-contamination cases, selected country case studies (USA, Japan, Australia, EU)
-Reactions, counter-actions of civil society
-Main lessons learned & how to go on to create a GMO-free agriculture
Presentation: Co-Existence and Global GMO-Contamination (pdf, 2,5 MB, English)

(2) Bernadette Oehen:
-Legal situation of organic farmers and gmo free producers in the EU
-Does recent research include the aspect of gmo free or organic farming?
-Cost of coexistence for non-GM grain maize production: results of an investigation conducted in three case study regions
Presentation: Aspects of Coexistence (pdf, 2,8 MB, English)

(3) Gabriel Paun:
-current situation in Romania with a special focus on  “co-existence” respectively contamination cases in the past and nowadays
Presentation: GE free Romanian NGO (pdf, 2,3 MB, English)

(4) Questions and Answers
(5) Exchange

Background and literature:

Forthcoming events:
2009 Genetically Modified Crops Coexistence Conference (GMCC’09), Melbourne, Australia, 10 – 12 November 2009:

GM and non-GM supply chains: their CO-EXistence and TRAceability International Conference, Paris, France, -5 June 2009: