Advancing the Understanding of Biosafety GMO Risk Assessment, Independent Biosafety Research and Holistic Analysis

This conference took place in the wake of the 6th meeting of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (MOP-6) from 01-05 Oct 2012. ENSSER was represented at the MOP-6 convening 2 side events.


Advancing the Understanding of Biosafety GMO Risk Assessment, Independent Biosafety Research and Holistic Analysis

Co-organisers: ENSSER; Tara Foundation (TF); Third World Network (TWN)

Financial support by: EMstitut, Germany; Fondation pour le Progrès de l’Homme (FPH), France/Switzerland; Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Germany (HBS); Third World Network (TWN), Malaysia; Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft (ZSL), Germany

Conference announcement

Conference program

Newspaper coverage: Times of India, Times of India (2), Science and Development Network, The Hindu Business Line, The Deccan Chronicle, The Deccan Chronicle (2), The Hindu, The Hans India, The Biosafety Information Centre, Down To Earth, Down To Earth (2)



Lectures & Articles

Download the full documentation of the conference.


Sep 28 (09:00) – Opening Session

Welcome and introduction

Dr. Angelika Hilbeck (ENSSER Chairperson &ETH Zürich), Switzerland


Sep 28 (09:10) Key Issues of COP-MOP-6

Biodiversity and Biosafety – An Introduction

  • Christine von Weizsäcker, ECOROPA, Germany (ppt)

Key Issues For COP-MOP-6

  • Lim Li Ching, Third World Network (TWN), Malaysia (ppt / short paper)


Sep 28 (09:40) – Developments in GMO Risk Assessment

Legal and Scientific Background of Risk Assessment Models

Advancing Risk Assessment under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety –
Results of AHTEG III and IV

  • Dr. Beatrix Tappeser, Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), Germany & Dr. David Quist GenØk – Centre for Biosafety, Norway (ppt / short paper)

Socioeconomic Considerations in GMO Decision Making

  • Georgina Catacora-Vargas, GenØk – Centre for Biosafety, Norway / Institute of Research on Risk and Sustainability (IRIS), Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil (ppt / short paper)

Appraisal of New Approach on Environmental Risk Assessment by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA)

  • Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), Switzerland (ppt / short paper)

EFSA’s Health Risk Assessment of Genetically Engineered Plants


Sep 28 (14:45) – Independent Biosafety Research – Hurdles & Results (1)

Patents and Risk Research: Access to Material, Corporate Control and Independent Science

Long Term Toxicity of a Roundup Herbicide and a Roundup-Tolerant Genetically Modified Maize

Sources and Mechanisms of Health Risks from GM Crops and Foods

  • Prof. Michael Antoniou, King’s College London, UK (ppt / short paper)

GE and Pest Resistance in the U.S.

  • Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman, Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), USA (ppt / short paper on “Genetic Engineering and the Big Challenges for Agriculture – Lessons from the United States”)

Sep 29 (09:00) – Independent Biosafety Research – Hurdles & Results (2)

Domestication, Feral Species and the Future of Plant Diversity

  • Prof. Cynthia L. Sagers, University of Arkansas, USA (ppt / short paper on “Erring on the side of caution: a case for increased regulatory oversight of genetically modified organisms in the United States”)

Transgene Flow into Native Seed and Ecosystems in Mexico

  • Dr. Ana Wegier, National Institute for Research in Agriculture, Forests and Lifestock (INIFAP), Mexico (ppt / short paper)

Field Trials of Bt Eggplant and Biosafety Regulations in the Philippines

  • Associate Prof. Ruth Gamboa, University of the Philippines Mindanao, Philippines (ppt / short paper)

Pest Resistance Against Bt Maize in South Africa and Challenges for African Farmers (and Regulators)

  • Prof. Johnnie van den Berg, North West University, South Africa (ppt / short paper)


Sep 29 (13:45) – GM Crops in India

Influence of the Fast Spread of Bt Cotton on the Organic Cotton Production

  • Matthias Klaiss, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland (ppt / short paper)

Interrogating the Science of Safety: Unknown Aspects of Bt Toxin, that Continue to Pose a Threat to the Health of Domestic Animals in India

Technology, Liberalisation and Farmer Suicides in Vidarbha (Maharashtra State, India)

  • Vijay Jawandhia, Shetkari Sanghatana, India (short paper)

Sep 29 (16:30) – Holistic Analysis – Joining the Pieces


  • Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH), Switzerland

How Regulators are Getting it Wrong on dsRNA

  • Prof. Jack Heinemann, University of Canterbury, New Zealand (ppt / short paper)

Ecological Agriculture for Food Security and Climate Resilience

  • Prof. Doreen Stabinsky, College of the Atlantic, USA (ppt / short paper)

Business as Usual is no Longer an Option – Paths to a Sustainable Future

  • Dr. Hans Herren, Millenium Institute, USA (ppt /short paper on “If not GM and factory agriculture, what and who will nourish the world?”)