Victory for the public! Right to participate on GMO decisions granted for the Pan-European Region (27/5/2005)

Great news as well as one in the eye for the industry and their supporters, including the insidious new Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI). See 'Public Researchers' say keep the public out of GMOs.

Right to participate on GMO decisions granted for the Pan-European Region

Friends of the Earth
Immediate Press Release: Friday 27 May 2005

Almaty (Kazakhastan)/Brussels, May 27, 2005. After four years of intensive and polarized discussions, the Meeting of the Parties to the UN Treaty, called the Aarhus Convention (AC), agreed today to grant the public of the Pan-European Region, including Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia the right to participate on decisions related to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). This is the first time that a pan-European legal obligation will provide the public with effective information and public participation on decisions to authorize a GMO release for experimental and for commercial purposes.

"This is a major victory for the public. No GMO will be introduced anymore in this region without public scrutiny and adequate information", said Juan Lopez, International Coordinator of Friends of the Earth Programme on Genetic Engineering.

Since 2001 the vast majority of countries from Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia have constantly stated and restated the need for the Aarhus Convention to include a legally binding provision granting the public the right to participate in decisions related to GMO activities.

The EU was divided and was never able until the meeting in Almaty to take a common position on the issue. The Biotech industry always opposed further requirements on public participation on GMOs in the framework of the Aarhus Convention.

Background information:

Ecoforum, FoEI, EEB Briefing:
Official Site 2nd Meeting of the Parties:
UNECE Aarhus Convention GMO webpage:
Ecoforum webpage:
Guidelines on access to information, public participation and access to justice with respect to Genetically Modified Organisms
Position of the Biotechnology Industry Organization on GMOs in Aarhus:

Contact Information:

Serhy Vykhryst, Ecoforum (Russian, English): +(32) 486512127

John Hontelez, European Environmental Bureau (English, Dutch, German, French): +(32) 486512127

Juan Lopez, Friends of the Earth International (English, Spanish, French): tel. Tel: +1 514 803-6718 or +39-333-1498049


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