Important legal notices
   
  European Commission > Agriculture
Conference "Co-existence of genetically 
             modified, conventional and organic crops – freedom of choice", ; 4-6 April 2006, Vienna

The European Commission together with the Austrian Presidency of the Council will hold a conference "Co-existence of genetically modified, conventional and organic crops – freedom of choice" from 4-6 April 2006 in Vienna, Austria.

This conference is being organised at a very important moment in time. The EU Member States are currently progressing in their development of national regulatory approaches to co-existence. However, the state of development still varies widely among the Member States. In a Communication adopted on 9 March 2006, the Commission provides an overview about the state of implementation of the national co-existence measures. In addition to this overview of the regulatory frameworks, the scientific base for technical measures to ensure co-existence and their socio-economic implications has recently been reviewed at the international conference on co-existence in Montpellier in November 2005.

It is now important to communicate the new insights gained to stakeholders and policy makers and to listen to their views. We believe that this dialogue is essential to decide about the most appropriate way forward on this important issue.

This conference should therefore bring together policy makers, scientists, and a broad range of stakeholders, such as farmers and consumers associations, NGOs, seed producers, importers, food and feed processors, etc.

The presentations and discussions will focus on the political and societal aspects of co-existence, with a particular attention to regulatory, technical and economic approaches to co-existence as well as consumer attitudes and market responses.

Attendance at the conference is by invitation only.

Given the international dimension of the issues to be discussed participants to the conference are delegates invited from primarily EU Member States and stakeholder organisations operating at EU level. Representatives of national organisations, enterprises or individual persons not affiliated to any institution may attend the conference provided they are formal delegates of a Member State or of an invited European stakeholder organisation.

 

CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS

Detailed Programme in pdf

4 April 2006

Arrival / Welcome

 

5 April 2006

Opening session - Plenary

Chair: Dirk Ahner, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission

  • Opening remarks by the Chair
  • Speech by Josef Pröll (Austrian Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management) [pdf, also available in de]
  • Speech by Friedrich-Wilhelm Graefe zu Baringdorf (Vice-Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Parliament)  [pdf de]

 

Keynote presentations

  • "The Danish approach to co-existence" (Hans Christian Schmidt, Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries  [pdf de]
  • "Co-existence measures in Germany" (Gerd Müller, Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection) [pdf de]
  • "The Dutch approach to co-existence" (Cornelis Pieter Veerman, Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality) [pdf]
  • "Harmonisation of regulatory oversight  in biotechnology: the OECD perspective" (Peter Kearns, Head of the OECD's Biosafety Programme and Secretary of the OECD's Internal Coordination Group for Biotechnology) [pdf]

Discussion with keynote speakers

 

Afternoon session: Three parallel workshops

A - "Regional and national approaches to co-existence in the EU: regulatory frameworks for technical segregation rules, liability and compensation mechanisms"

Chair: Olivier Bertrand, Member of the Committee of the Regions
Rapporteur: Søren A. Mikkelsen, Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences

  • "The Spanish experience with co-existence after eight years of cultivation of GM maize" (José Ignacio Ortega Molina, Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food ) [pdf]
     
  • "The rules for co-existence in Lower Austria and requirements for regulatory frameworks in the EU" (Josef Plank, Minister for Agricultural and Environmental Affairs, Rural Development of Lower Austria and Chairman of the Agricultural Ministers Conference of the Austrian Länder) [pdf]
     
  • "Co-existence measures in the Czech Republic" (Marie Cerovska, Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic)  [pdf de]
     
  • "Agriculture, biodiversity and rural development at regional level. Which co-existence?" (Susanna Cenni, Minister for Agriculture of the Tuscany region, Coordinator of the GMO-Free European Regions and Local Authorities' Network, and Member of the Assembly of European Regions) [pdf]
     
  • "Liability and compensation schemes" (Bernhard Koch, Vice-Director of the Research Unit for European Tort Law of the Austrian Academy of Sciences) presentation [pdf], speech [pdf]
     
  • "Co-existence measures in Hungary" (Zoltán Bedö, Director of the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences) presentation [pdf], speech [pdf]
     
  • Open discussion

 

B - "Segregation in farming and throughout the food chain – technical and economic aspects"

Chair: Joachim Schiemann, German Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry
Rapporteur: Jeremy Sweet, Environmental Consultant and Vice-chair of the GMO Panel of the European Food Safety Authority, EFSA

  • "Co-existence - the expectations of the Food and Drink Industries" (Peter Loosen, Confederation of the Food and Drink Industries of the EU, CIAA) [pdf]
     
  • "Co-existence - the seed industry's views and experiences" (Garlich von Essen, European Seed Association, ESA) [pdf]
     
  • "The precautionary principle in co-existence management" (Leopold Girsch, Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, AGES) [pdf]
     
  • "Segregation - challenges for the trade in agricultural commodities" (Klaus-Dieter Schumacher, European Liaison Committee for the Agricultural and Agri-Food Trade, CELCAA) [pdf]
     
  • "Segregation up to the farm gate: Agronomic measures to ensure co-existence" (Emilio Rodríguez Cerezo, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Institute of Prospective Technological Studies, IPTS) [pdf]
     
  • "Co-Extra: Study of GM and non-GM supply chains co-existence" (Yves Bertheau, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA) [pdf]
     
  • Open discussion
 

C - "Consumer attitude and market responses to GMOs, viewpoint of the stakeholders"

Chair: Bernd Voss, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee
Rapporteur: George Gaskell, Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science

  • "The position of the European Organic Farming Movement and experiences of GM contamination" (Gundula S. E. Azeez, International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, IFOAM) [pdf]
     
  • "Contamination and liability issues for non-GM food, farming and wildlife" (Helen Holder, Friends of the Earth) [pdf]
     
  • "Co-existence: COPA-COGECA's views" (Ricardo Serra Arias, Vice-President of the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations in the European Union, COPA, and Thor Gunnar Kofoed, President of the seeds working group of the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations in the European Union and the General Confederation of Agricultural Co-operatives in the European Union, COPA-COGECA) Mr. Serra Arias: presentation [pdf], speech [pdf], Mr. Kofoed: presentation [pdf], speech [pdf]
     
  • "EuroCommerce and GMOs: Transparency and choice for consumers" (Brigit Hofer, EuroCommerce) [pdf]
     
  • "Co-existence – Choice or denial?" (Simon Barber, European Association for Bioindustries, EuropaBio) [pdf]
     
  • "Co-existence and right of choice for consumers" (Barbara Gallani, European Consumers' Organisation, BEUC) [pdf]
     
  • Open discussion

 

6 April 2006

Plenary session

Chair: Dirk Ahner, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission

Opening remarks by the Chair

Presentation by the rapporteurs of the three workshops

  • Presentation by Søren A. Mikkelsen, Rapporteur for Workshop A: "Regional and national approaches to co-existence in the EU: regulatory frameworks for technical segregation rules, liability and compensation mechanisms" [pdf]
     
  • Presentation by Jeremy Sweet, Rapporteur for Workshop B: "Segregation in farming and throughout the food chain – technical and economic aspects" [pdf]
     
  • Presentation by George Gaskiell, Rapporteur for Workshop C: "Consumer attitude and market responses to GMOs, viewpoint of the stakeholders" [pdf]
     

Panel discussion with the three rapporteurs of the workshops and the keynote speakers from 5 April

Joint concluding remarks by Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel and Minister Josef Pröll [pdf, also available in de]

 

 

Further information:

Co-existence of genetically modified crops with conventional and organic farming


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