3.Why this conference is important
NOTE: Also, don't forget Percy Schmeiser's on tour around the UK starting in Norwich, TOMORROW Wednesday 22 October. Full details here: http://feedingtheworldconference.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/percy_gm1.pdf
EXTRACTS: "There is a breath-taking naivety about the belief that GM can be a silver bullet to solve all the problems agriculture is currently facing. All the energy the Government and the proponents of GM are currently investing in a renaissance of the debate about the benefits of GM is a distraction from the real issues." (item 3)
"The biotech industry tells Africans that we need GM crops to tackle the food needs of our population. But the majority of GM crops are used to feed animals in rich countries, to produce damaging agrofuels, and don't even yield more than conventional crops." (item 3)
1.Feeding the World Conference
Feeding The World... Are GM Crops fit for Purpose? If not, then what?
Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, 12 November 2008
This conference will examine, searchingly and honestly, the claims and counter claims of one of the most critical issues of our time.
Defra Ministers recently declared support for the use of GM crops and have given opponents a year to come up with proof that they are harmful.
Yet, a major scientific study, the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), has questioned the relevance of GM to food security and has called for a shift to agro-ecological food production.
But will that be enough? Is it possible to feed a growing population on a planet of finite and diminishing resources? This question, together with the claims and counter claims about the potential and limitations of GM cropping, as well as the status of agro-ecological alternatives will be examined by leading researchers and practitioners.
With the support and participation of charitable foundations, academics, researchers, NGOs, farmers and policy makers from the UK and abroad this conference brings a wide and challenging perspective to questions and issues too often mired in cliche and propaganda.
[Event details below]
The programme so far. Please visit again for more updates and news.
Are GM crops fit for purpose? If not, then what?
The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre London SW1P 3EE
November 12th 2008
PROGRAMME (As at October 13th 2008 )
10.00 Registration and coffee
Session 1: Tackling the GM claims
Chair : Dr Jeremy Cherfas Bioversity ROME
10.30 The UK Government’s case. (Minister invited)
11.00 Why GM technology is not going to deliver.
Dr Michael Antoniou Kings College LONDON
11.30 Why the GM route won't feed a hungry Africa
Eric Kisiangani Practical Action, Nairobi, Kenya
12.00 The inevitability of geneflow environment and health risks.
Prof. Jack A Heinemann University of Auckland NZ
12.30 14.00 LUNCH
Session 2: Feeding the World
Chair: Prof. Dr. Hardy Vogtmann President, Organic Research Centre
14.00 What is feeding the world and food security anyway. Are these realistic aims?
Dr Charlie Clutterbuck
14.30 Nutritional diversity and food-based approaches to malnutrition
Dr Jeremy Cherfas Bioversity ROME
15.00 IAASTD critique of industrial agriculture & the relevance of small-scale agroecology.
Dr Janice Jiggins Wageningen University HOLLAND
15.30 Examples of successful agro-ecology
Julia Wright Garden Organic (HDRA) UK
16.00 The Slow Food vision
Speaker from Slow Food UK (tbc)
16.30 Summing up
Prof. Dr. Hardy Vogtmann
16.45 Conference ends
Day tickets available at a supported rate of GBP65 including lunch, refreshments and conference pack.
Book your place
BOOKING FORMS HERE
Tel: 01488 658279
3.Partners - why this event is important
Feeding the World Conference partners tell us why this event is so important to them. It is a big debate, with many issues, many questions and very few real answers.
"There is a breath-taking naivety about the belief that GM can be a silver bullet to solve all the problems agriculture is currently facing. All the energy the Government and the proponents of GM are currently investing in a renaissance of the debate about the benefits of GM is a distraction from the real issues."
"There is no evidence that GM crops increase yields, reduce pesticide use or bring any public benefits to society. And there is a growing body of evidence there could be health risks. There is also the genie out of the bottle argument that once these organisms are released you cannot recall them and the choice issue because the fact remains that the vast majority of consumers in Europe do not want to purchase GM foods if they can help it.”
- Patrick Holden, The Soil Association
"GM crops have failed to deliver the long-promised benefits of the biotech industry. Instead, increased pesticide use caused by these crops threatens the environment and communities around the world.”
"The biotech industry tells Africans that we need GM crops to tackle the food needs of our population. But the majority of GM crops are used to feed animals in rich countries, to produce damaging agrofuels, and don't even yield more than conventional crops."
- Nnimmo Bassey, Friends of the Earth International GMO coordinator in Nigeria
"It is now clearer than ever that Europe is right to take a precautionary approach to GM crops. They are not the solution to the urgent environmental and economic challenges facing farmers both in Europe and in developing countries. More and more evidence is showing that around the world green farming methods are providing real solutions whilst boosting local economies and creating jobs.”
- Clare Oxborrow, Friends of the Earth’s GM Campaigner
"Quite simply, the GM route reinforces an outdated model of industrial, energy reliant agriculture, wholly unsuitable for adapting to and dealing with the conditions that climate change and expensive, scarce oil bring for global food security."
"Most importantly we have to ask if undue research and commercial focus on GM foods and crops is diverting our attention from the development of truly reliable alternatives of sustainable (organic) agriculture which are capable of feeding a hungry world today and tomorrow.”
- Richard Sanders, The Organic Research Centre
“World hunger and food shortage are complex issues largely social and economic in nature. There is more than enough food in the world to feed everyone, it's just that the economic system put in place by politicians has failed to ensure that that food reaches the people who need it most whilst other sectors of the population are becoming obese. The IAASTD process concluded that 'business as usual is not the answer' to world hunger”¦”
“The Government should stop listening to industry propaganda that is shamelessly trying to exploit the current food price rises there is no evidence that GM crops have increased average yields. The reasons we have no GM crops in the UK are either that the Labour Government did not approve them or the industry withdrew approved crops on a voluntary basis.”
- Pete Riley, GM Freeze.