Outcrossing, contamination and co-existence - state of science and experience

B2 - Sunday 13:30 - 15:00


With increasing field testing and growing of GMO plants in Europe, the issue of contamination of conventional, organic and traditional plant varieties and their wild relatives becomes more and more critical, posing both ecological and socio-economic risks. This workshop informs about recent cases of GMO contamination and how they have been handled worldwide. Lawsuits by farmers against GMO companies like Pioneer and Syngenta will be presented and discussed. The current state of the scientific debate and evidence and future scenarios on GM contamination will also be examined, including major EU research and policy programmes such as SIGMEA and Co-Extra.


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Key participants and speakers:

Broder Breckling (University of Bremen - Zentrum für Umweltforschung und Umwelttechnologie, Germany)
Outcrossing, contamination and co-existence - state of science and experience

Nikoloas Lappas (General Confederation of Greek Agrarian Associations (GESASE), Greece)

Rosa Binimelis (Plataforma Transgènics Fora!, Catalonia)

Sue Mayer (GeneWatch, UK)
Can we manage GM contamination of food and seed?

Background Documents

GeneWatch Briefing 33 ( December 2005)
GM Contamination: Can biological containment work for crops and society?
This briefing reviews the different approaches to develop further genetic modifications of plants to attempt a reduction or elimination of gene flow by altering the plant’s reproductive processes and considers their effectiveness and practicality.

GMO: Impossible coexistence
Seven reasons why, in the current state of research, as well fundamental as applied, nothing makes it possible to authorize an unspecified coexistence between the tests of GM crops in open medium and the conventional cultures. (French/English)

Werner Müller (2003)
Concepts for Coexistence
In this 55 page long study, Werner Müller focuses on the level of biological science (such as questions of outcrossing distances and the dispersal of transgenic seed) and that of quality assurance for coexistence.

Danish Forest and Nature Agency
Detection of genetically modified plants
Detailed overview and explanation of methods to sample and analyse GMO content in plants and plant products.

Community Reference Laboratory (CRL) for GM Food & Feed
List of official detection methods

Non-GMO certifier: Cert ID
CERT ID is a global company providing third-party certification programmes.