To GM or not to GM?

An international conference on coexistence between genetically modified (GM) and non-GM crops will be held in Melbourne in November.

The GMCC’09 conference will bring together the scientific community working on coexistence between GM and non-GM agricultural supply chains.

The event will cover key issues from production level to the market place or ‘from paddock to plate’.

Conference chair, Professor German Spangenberg, sees GMCC’09 as a unique opportunity to showcase the latest research taking place world-wide in biological, agricultural and socio-economic sciences.

The research would provide the knowledge base to enable feasible coexistence strategies between GM and non-GM agricultural supply chains to be designed and implemented, he said.

“There has been significant growth in the introduction of GM crops in global agriculture over the last decade. This is reflected by the increasing number of countries growing GM crops as well as the growing area under GM crop cultivation globally,” Spangenberg said.

“Coexistence between GM and non-GM agricultural supply chains is highly relevant in providing choice.”

The GMCC is the only international conference series that focuses on coexistence issues between GM and non-GM agriculture. The conference program is designed to inform conference participants on the current state of the underpinning science in this field world-wide.

This year will be the first time the event will take place outside of Europe. Key issues will include strategies for coexistence and organisational measures across the supply chain, socio-economics of coexistence and many others, as well as highlighting the progress of the Australian approach in the coexistence of GM canola.

“We also want to address the planning for coexistence measures in advance of other GM crop introductions such as wheat, rice, sugar cane and pastures,” said Spangenberg.

Calls for abstracts are due by March 1 on topics including managing coexistence, the global status of coexistence, socio-economics and case studies.

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