Forty years of genetic engineering (GE) have led to a host of new products and a recent surge in new techniques, but in agriculture and various other fields of application the level of insight into the effects of GE on organisms and ecosystems has progressed much less. The claims about the potential benefits and possibilities of the new techniques sound very much like those made for the current techniques invented in the 1970s and 80s and are equally badly substantiated. However, it is deeply alarming that these claims, as before, still neglect the root causes of the serious problems in agriculture, to which GE offers no solutions. Moreover, the undesired effects of the old and new GE techniques continue to be largely ignored in the commercial projects and applications. The sciences of genetics, evolution and ecology, meanwhile, have progressed to show an amazing network of interlinked and finely tuned molecular, physiological and ecological processes sustaining life on all levels. The insights into these processes show the founding assumption of genetic engineering, that there would be a simple, linear relationship between a deliberate DNA modification and a change in a property of the organism or even a newly created property, to be unreliable and unfit for practical application. Yet the application of GE to agriculture and food continues to be pushed relentlessly by commercial interests and like-minded, affiliated scientists and politicians.
This conference, preceding (as happened in the past) the biennial Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, will present scientific analysis and evaluation of the current state of knowledge on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including their impacts on farmers, communities and the environment, also highlighting the uncontrolled spread of transgenes and GMOs. Special attention will be paid to the latest developments of genetic engineering, like genome editing, CRISPR/Cas and gene drives. The necessity, now more than ever, to take the precautionary principle as a guiding principle in GE developments, will pervade the conference.
“Taking Stock – 20 Years of GM Crops – 40 Years of ‘Genetic Engineering’” is an eminent chance for everyone concerned, notably those who are going to attend MOP8, to have a high caliber review and analysis of GM crops and to learn what is going on and what is about to happen in this field.
Please read the report of the conference.
Please find the presentations of the conference here:
Burkina Faso’s Bt cotton Reversal
Environmental Impact of Glyphosate use in Argenina
Damián J. Marino
ENSSER on 2010 EFSA guidance for ERA of GMPs
Flujo de transgenes y su acumulación en especies nativas: una controversia cientiﬁca resuelta
Alma Piñeyro Nelson, Emmanuel González-Ortega,Elena Álvarez-Buylla, Ana Wegier
BIOCULTURAL IMPACTS OF TRANSGENIC CROP RELEASE AT CENTERS OF ORIGIN AND DIVERSIFICATION: THE CASE OF MAIZE IN MEXICO
Antonio Turrent, Alejandro Espinosa, and Eckart Boege
Biología sintética: Impactos en las economías campesinas