9th GMO Free Europe Conference Berlin, September 6th / 7th 2018

Three mega-mergers on the seed and pesticide market, a new method of genetic engineering that has triggered a global hype, European debates on insect decline and on banning herbicides such as glyphosate – good reasons for convening another European Conference of GMO-free regions.

On the 6th of September, representatives of NGOs, science and agriculture organisations as well as business will meet for the 9th European Conference of GMO-Free regions in Berlin at the invitation of “Save Our Seeds” and this conference's co-organisors from civil society.

On the 7th of September, back to back, representatives of 64 regional governments forming the network of GMO-free regions will meet at the invitation of under secretary for the Environment of Hesse, Dr.Beatrix Tappeser, who is the networks president since 2017.

Focus on CRISPR-Cas

This time the focus is on the challenges associated with a new method of genetic modification called CRISPR-Cas. Is this method, also known as “gene editing”, safer than previous forms of genetic engi­neering? Aren’t CRISPR-Cas applications, such as engineering entire populations by means of "gene drives", rather posing new and additional risks? After the European Court of Justice ruling of July 25th on these issues, what will be the next political and administrative steps of the European and national institutions. Could certain products of genetic engineering still appear neither labelled nor traceable in food or even in the environment as governments in other regions of the world refuse to regulate them? What is the global situation on these issues?

We will discuss these questions in joint debates and various workshops. The aim is to clarify technical and scientific aspects, the legal situation, economic impacts on agriculture and the food industry and, last but not least, the political debate in the wake of European elections in spring 2019. In addition, we will discuss the EU protein strategy and GMO imports as well as the labelling of animal products.

We want to look for common positions and strategies on key issues of transparency, precautionary environmental protection, agricultural policy and consumer protection. If your government, institution or civil society organisation is also engaged in these questions, then you should attend this conference.

If your government, institution or civil society organisation is also engaged in these questions, then you should attend this conference.

The programme:

On Thursday, September 6, the non-governmental organizations will use the whole day for internal discussions at the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

On the evening of September 6, the Environment Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Ulrike Höfken, invites all participants to a joint evening reception.
On Friday, September 7, representatives of governments, business, science and civil society will jointly meet at the representation of the State of Hesse for the official conference and then conclude the meeting with an evening reception. Various fringe meetings before and after this programme are being planned in addition.

Conference language: English (no interpreters, individual help with translation possible)


To register for the NGO and official part please download the registration form as pdf file or as odt file and return it to the conference secretariat: info@gmo-free-regions.org

to register for the official part only please use the official registration form

For the NGO-day, which is not public, please wait for a positive confirmation of your participation before making travel plans and booking accommodation in Berlin. We will keep the participants informed about the further design and details of the programme. Also, even if you are one of the speakers, we appreciate if you could send us your registration. Thank you for your cooperation!


Akiko Frid / Benedikt Haerlin c/o SOS, Marienstr.19-20, 10117 Berlin, +49 30 28482326

We very much hope to see you in September and look forward to your response!