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Report: Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and NASDA
Posted by: Vlastimil Miksik (IP Logged)
Date: October 15, 2006 09:40PM

In March 2006, the Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology and the =
Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) held a workshop =
examined how growers of conventional, genetically engineered (GE), and
organic crops can *peacefully coexist* in our ever-evolving marketplace,
October 2006.

The workshop, which took place in Boulder, Colorado was the second of
three sponsored by the Pew Initiative and NASDA. Participants included
representatives from state and federal governments; GE, conventional, and
organic farmers; the European Union, seed companies, food processing and
marketing companies, academia and the biotech industry. All gathered to
identify potential options for advancing peaceful coexistence in the
marketplace and to understand the existing and future roles of the public
and private sectors in achieving this goal.

Highlights include:

*Peaceful coexistence* can be described as the ability of conventional, GE
and organic growers to effectively meet the specifications of their =
and consumer markets and ensure a strong, vibrant, diverse agricultural

Growers of conventional and organic crops have at times been denied market
access when unable to meet the contract or other market specifications.

The lack of standardized, internationally accepted marketing standards,
testing methodologies, and protocols pose a significant challenge to the
smooth and efficient operation of both domestic and international
agricultural marketing chains.

State agricultural agencies are sometimes pressed to *pick sides* among =
conventional, and organic production methods, but they believe all three
production systems are critical to the economic viability and sustainabilit=
of U.S. agriculture.

Overcoming the challenges and capitalizing on the opportunities provided =
fostering *peaceful coexistence* will require a combination of market,
research, farmer-to-farmer communication and Federal, state and local
government efforts.

An overview of the conference agenda and the full paper from the workshop,
entitled Peaceful Coexistence Among Growers Of: Genetically Engineered,
Conventional and Organic Crops, can be viewed at:

Additionally, proceedings from the first workshop on sharing confidential
business information between state and federal agencies involved in
agriculture biotechnology oversight, can be found at:

Proceedings from the third workshop on issues relating to the federal
regulatory system governing agricultural biotechnology, and the appropriate=

role for state agriculture agencies in that system, will be available in =
near future.

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology is a nonprofit, nonpartisan
research project whose goal is to inform the public and policymakers on
issues about genetically modified food and agricultural biotechnology,
including its importance, as well as concerns about it and its regulation.
It is supported by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to the University=

of Richmond.


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