The Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI) and EuropaBio organized
a seminar entitled Unshackling Innovation: Will Europe block or enable GM
crops? at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium on September 27, 2016
to discuss concerns on genetically modified (GM) crops.
Europe helped invent agricultural biorechnology, but has done more than
anyone else to thwart genetically modified crops. Will Europe's cold
shoulder prevent urgent agricultural modernization in developing countries?
Will Europe's scientists ever see their innovations take root? What can
Europe learn from other countries' experiences? How can science reclaim its
seat at the table?
These were the concerns raised during the seminar, with the objective to
unshackle innovation in agricultural biotechnology so that it reaches the
farmers to feed the growing global population. Members of the EU Parliament
who spoke at the seminar, Anthea McIntyre and Lambert van Nistelrooji called
for GM crops to be adopted in the light of climate Change, growing
population, and the need for sustainable agriculture practice with minimum
Sir Richard Roberts, the Nobel Laureate who organized the petition against
Greenpeace over GMOs gave his candid views on why GM crops cannot be ignored
when millions are starving or malnourished in many parts of the world. Other
speakers from the public sector research, industry, farmers' associations,
and government agencies shared similar views that innovation in agriculture,
especially GM technology and New Breeding Technologies (NBTs) should be part
of the breeders' toolkit. They also stated that activism against GM crops is
a crime against humanity which is not supported by sound science. The
speakers also said that Europe should show leadership for developing
countries in embracing GM technology and NBTs in agriculture, and address
challenges in agriculture, including ageing farming community, food
insecurity in many countries, and climate change.
Prof. Marc Van Montagu, Prof. Diran Makinde, and Dr. Mahaletchumy Arujanan
spoke at the seminar, among other speakers. For more information, visit the
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