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Genetic Engineering and the Intrinsic Value and Integrity of Animals and Plants

Proceedings of a Workshop at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, UK 18-21 September 2002

Edited by David Heaf & Johannes Wirz

Published by Ifgene – International Forum for Genetic Engineering December 2002

For full details please see the workshop proceedings web page at http://www.ifgene.org/2002.htm or contact Ifgene UK co-ordinator:

David Heaf, Hafan, Cae Llwyd, Llanystumdwy, LL52 0SG, UK. Tel/Fax: +44 (0)1766 523181.
Email: 101622 (dot) 2773 (at) compuserve (dot) com (please reconstruct this anti-spam e-address)

Proceedings of the Ifgene Workshop 2001 on the

Intrinsic Value and Integrity of Plants in the Context of Genetic Engineering

which was held 9th to 11th May 2001 at the Goetheanum, Dornach, near Basel, Switzerland

View details of the book (Contents, Summary & purchase information)

GM-free Regions World Summit on Diversity

From 12 - 16 May 2008 representatives of 141 member countries of the "Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety" under the Rio Convention on Biodiversity will be meeting in Bonn, Germany. The main issue on their agenda will be liability and redress from damages caused by genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Also participating will be hundreds of delegates from non-member parties, such as the USA, Canada and Argentina as well as the GMO industry and scientists.

We believe that this is the perfect occasion to hold the world's first GMO-Free Summit on Diversity. At a recent European conference of GMO-Free Regions in Brussels 300 delegates from 36 countries and 230 GMO-Free Regions in Europe issued this invitation:

"We invite the farmers, gardeners and consumers of the world to celebrate the diversity of our seed and food and cultures and their freedom from GMOs, patents and corporate control. This celebration will coincide with and address the meeting of the parties of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the Convention on Biodiversity in Bonn, Germany in May 2008. We call upon organisations, communities and institutions from around the world to join us in organising this event and to contribute to its program. Let us join forces for the freedom of seed and reproduction and freedom from GMOs and patents on life. Let us also make our message be heard by the representatives of governments as well as the people of the world."

The local organising committee hosting this event is now seeking partners from all regions and continents of the globe to prepare and participate in order to facilitate a truly international event.

What we have in mind so far is a three-day international conference and a week of celebrations, exhibitions and events. We are seeking your advice on the programme, and we call for your participation and contributions - your imagination and causes, your recipes and traditions, your seeds and success stories. We also invite your suggestions on how to defend natural and cultivated biodiversity against the threats of a genetically engineered industrial agriculture.

If you would like to be part of these celebrations and events, please respond to this call within the coming weeks and no later than July 15th.

The provisional organising Committee:

GENET (European NGO network on genetic engineering, 50 members), CONSUMERS INTERNATIONAL, GREENPEACE, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH, IFOAM (Int. Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements), ABL (Family Farmers Union, member of Via Campesina), Church Development Service (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst - EED), Initiative of GE-Free Seed Breeders (IG Saatgut), BUKO Agro coordination, SAVE OUR SEEDS (Foundation on Future Farming)


"Save Our Seeds", Foundation on Future Farming

10117 Berlin,
Tel +49 30 27590309
Fax +49 30 27590312

Email: info@gmo-free-regions.org
Web: http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/worldsummit2008

New Website Lays Bare the Unintended Consequences of Genetic Engineering

Research reports from the mainstream technical literature may change the tenor of the public conversation about biotechnology.

Ghent, New York (April 14, 2008).

The Nature Institute has unveiled a new website designed to set the public debate about genetic engineering upon a more accessible scientific foundation. Distilling a voluminous technical literature, the website gathers together -- often in the researchers' own words -- information about both the intended and unintended consequences of transgenic experiments. The emerging picture tells a dramatic story -- one that has scarcely begun to inform the public conversation to date. The website, available at http://nontarget.org, is part of The Nature Institute's ongoing project on "The Nontarget Effects of Genetic Manipulation."

Nontarget effects have proven both extensive and unpredictable. The evidence for their occurrence, while mostly buried in the technical literature, is not disputable or even particularly controversial. It's simply not widely known. Once it is known, the frequently heard claim that genetic manipulation of organisms is a "precise science" without dramatic risks will either be voiced no more or will be recognized as dishonest.

As project director, Craig Holdrege, describes, "if you manipulate one or more genes in an organism using the techniques of biotechnology, the so-called side-effects -- which are not side-effects at all, but include direct responses by the organism to the invasive actions of the engineer -- can occur anywhere and everywhere in the organism. They are not predictable, are little understood, and have mostly unknown consequences for health and the environment. The intended result may or may not be achieved in any given case, but the one almost sure thing is that unintended results -- nontarget effects -- will be achieved."

Holdrege, whose most recent book, Beyond Biotechnology, deals with the practical and philosophical implications of genetic engineering, maintains that a great deal of the discussion of genetic engineering practices can become calmer and more focused once the basic facts revealed by the extensive research to date are more widely known. Holdrege believes that "we can hardly fail to acknowledge a need for caution when we are dealing with a powerful technology that is changing organisms and environments around the globe -- organisms and environments that cannot simply be restored to their previous state when we discover the unpredicted results of transgenic experiments."

Media Contact: Craig Holdrege



The Nature Institute

20 May Hill Road

Ghent, NY 12075



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