ABIC2004 - Risks and Regulations

ABIC 2004 Conference newsletter at abic2004.org
Sat Sep 11 10:24:59 EST 2004


Dear Reader

while there are only two more weeks until the opening of ABIC2004, latest 
news show that AgBiotechnology will be remaining in the public focus for 
a considerably longer time after the conference.
The German government, for example, which is not really known for it's 
liberal policy towards modern sciences in general and plant biotechnology 
in special, has last week (August 19th) been reproached with undermining 
the EU guidelines by trying to pass it's law on genetically modified organisms 
(GMOs). According to EU officials the German GMO-law defies the EU regulation 
in several points, especially in respect to a too strict regulation of 
coexistence rules and liability issues that put the full responsibility 
on the GM-plant cultivating farmer.
Though the German ministry for Agriculture and Consumer Protection, run 
by Renate Künast of the environmentalist party "Die Grünen" does not see 
need for action, independent experts expect a revision soon.

Overly cautious regulations, which occur not only in Germany, are a very 
typical symptom of an asymmetric risk perception. While everything labelled 
"organic" is per se regarded as "healthy" and environmentally beneficial 
by the public (in average), food associated with biotechnology is perceived 
as potentially risky. There is, for instance, little public discussion 
about contamination of organic crops with mycotoxins going on while the 
environmental benefit of pest resistant crops (reduced pesticide strain 
of soil) is rarely ever mentioned.

Elucidation of the actual risks and requirements for a feasible coexistence 
of GM and non-GM plants and the actual ecological impact of GM plants will 
be the major plenary topic "Co-Existence of Transgenic and Non-Transgenic 
Crops" at ABIC2004!

The AgBiotech-Manifesto, publicized on August 6th, has meanwhile proven 
a grand success. At the time of writing, more than 400 persons have signed 
the online version, which is accessible at www.abic2004.org/manifesto/ 
 .

It is still time to become part of 2004s groundbreaking event in AgBiotechnology 
- register now at www.abic2004/registration/

With best regards

The ABIC2004 Organization team!


Phytowelt GmbH
ABIC 2004 Conference Office
Nattermannallee 1   D-50829 Cologne 
email: newsletter at abic2004.org
internet: www.abic2004.org 
phone: + 49 221-49299-55
fax: + 49-221-49299-560


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