Chapela in Europe / Industry targets Oz (12/8/2005)

1.Experts converge in Bologna (September 2005)
2.ABIC 2006 hits Australia (August 2006)

1.ABIC 2006 - "Unlocking the potential of Agricultural Biotechnology" AusBiotech News Release, August 11, 2005
6 - 9 August 2006 Melbourne Australia

The Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference (ABIC) is the major global conference for agricultural biotechnology.

First held in 1996 in Canada by the ABIC Foundation, Melbourne Australia will host the first conference to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Victorian State Government as Principal Sponsor and Host State and AusBiotech, as the Host Industry Body invites you to join the ABIC Foundation at ABIC2006 from 6 - 9 August 2006.

For more information please visit www.abic2006.org

2.GMO and consumer experts converge in Bologna

A panel of international experts on genetic modification (GM) and consumer rights will be speaking at a conference on '"Co-existence", contamination and GM-free zones: Jeopardising consumer choice?' in Bologna, Italy (9 September 2005) organised by Consumers International (CI) and Regione Emilia-Romagna.

Contamination of GM-free crops can occur during the breeding, transportation and processing of seeds. Also, when pollen from GM crops blows into fields of GM-free crops. Unless strong measures are put in place by governments, contamination will eventually eliminate the consumer's right to choose.

David Cuming, CI GM Campaign Manager says:

'How is contamination of GM-free crops and fields going to be prevented? Unless governments, scientists, GM farmers and biotechnology companies can guarantee availability of GM-free food for all consumers, then the consumer right to choice is threatened. GM-free food must not become a luxury good.'

Anna Bartolini, Italian representative in the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG) says:

'In Italy we have many problems segregating GM crops from conventional and organic crops. However, GM crops must be contained to prevent contamination of GM-free food. Italian people are proud of their food and don't want to eat GM. The consumer voice must be heard!'

Some questions that will be explored at the Bologna conference include: Is it viable to grow genetically modified (GM) crops without contaminating conventional and organic crops? Is consumer choice being threatened by the current growth of GM crops? How can GM-free zones be legally established, and what purpose do they serve?

Speakers include Ignacio Chapela (University of California - Berkeley, USA), Angelika Hilbeck (Geobotanical Institute, ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland), Marijane Lisboa (IDEC - Instituto de Defesa do Consumidor, Brazil), Muyanda Ililonga (ZACA- Zambia Consumers Association, Zambia) and Benedikt Haerlin (Save our Seeds and Foundation on Future Farming, Germany). See below for full programme.

Note for editors

The conference is free and open to all. Discussions will take place in English and Italian with interpretation in these 2 languages. To ensure a place please register in advance by contacting: [email protected]

The conference is part of SANA, the 17th International Exhibition of Natural Products - NUTRITION, HEALTH, ENVIRONMENT, Bologna, Italy (8 - 11 September 2005). Registration to the conference provides free admission to the SANA exhibition (www.sana.it).

International conference open to the public organised by Regione Emilia-Romagna and Consumers International

'Co-existence', contamination and GM-free zones - Jeopardising consumer choice?
9 September 2005

Sala Europa - Palazzo dei Congressi, Piazza Costituzione, 4 -Bologna - Italy

Outline of the programme
Friday 9 September 2005
8:30 - 9:00 Registration
9:00 - 9:30 Welcome and Introduction
Sergio Rossi, Italy
Consigliere Delegato SANA srl
David Cuming, UK
GM Campaigns Manager, Consumers International
Daniela Primicerio, Italy
Director General, Direzione generale per l'armonizzazione del mercato e la tutela dei consumatori (DGAMTC)

The meeting will be chaired by
Anna Bartolini, Italy

Italian representative in the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG)
Anna Fielder, UK
Director, Office for Developed and Transition Economies, Consumers International

9:30 - 11:00 PANEL 1
Regional perspectives and experiences on GM-free zones and 'co-existence' - perspectives from Italy, Brazil, Zambia, USA and Thailand
Gianni Cavinato, Italy
Secretary General, Associazione Consumatori Utenti

Els Cooperrider, USA
Co-owner of the Ukiah Brewing Company and co-author of Measure H for a GM-free Mendocino County

Marijane Lisboa, Brazil
Coordinator, Instituto de Defesa do Consumidor (IDEC) and Sociology lecturer, São Paulo Catholic University (PUC-SP)

Gerald Lonauer, Austria
Head of the Liaison Office of Upper Austria, Assembly of European Union

Muyunda Ililonga, Zambia
Executive Director, ZACA - Zambia Consumers Association

Saree Aongsomwang, Thailand
Director, Foundation for Consumers

11:00 - 12:30 PANEL 2
What are the main scientific issues surrounding the debate over GM-free zones and 'co-existence'?
Ignacio Chapela, USA
Assistant Professor, Division of Ecosystem Sciences, University of California - Berkeley

Simone Vieri, Italy
Professor of Agricultural Economics and Politics, Università della Sapienza di Roma

Angelika Hilbeck, Switzerland
Project coordinator, Geobotanical Institute, ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

Claudia Sorlini, Italy
Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Università degli Studi di Milano
Biotechnology Industry representative

12:30 - 14:00 Buffet lunch

14:00 - 15:30 PANEL 3
What efforts have government and industry taken to ensure 'co-existence' is viable for all sectors of agriculture and are they working?
Bernd Voss, Germany
Member of the European Economic and Social Committee and rapporteur on co-existence
Lim Li Lin, Malaysia
Third World Network
Victor Gonzalvez, Spain
Technical Coordinator, Sociedad Española de Agricultura Ecológica (SEAE),
IFOAM - EU Spain Board member

15:30 - 17:00 PANEL 4
What are the main legal concerns surrounding GM-free zones and 'co-existence'?
Benedikt Haerlin, Germany
Director, Save our Seeds and Foundation on Future Farming
Andrew Kimbrell, USA
Executive Director, Center for Food Safety
Paolo Martinello, Italy
President, Altroconsumo (CCA)
17:00 - 18:00 Discussion
18:00 -18:30 Concluding remarks
Tiberio Rabboni, Italy
Assessore Agricoltura, Regione Emilia-Romagna
18:30 End of Conference
Location of conference
Sala Europa
Centro Congressi
Piazza Costituzione 4
40100 Bologna

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