Biotech Updates

PRRI-STOA Seminar for EU Parliamentarian on GMOs

March 5, 2010

The Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI)  created a milestone in the GMO regulation debate with a seminar organized for European Union (EU) policymakers on "The impact of EU GMO-regulations on biotechnology research for the public good". This seminar was held at the EU parliament on February  25, 2010 and was jointly organized with the Science and Technology Options Assessment Panel of the European Parliament (STOA).

The seminar addressed the constraints the public research sector faces due to unnecessary regulatory hurdles in many countries, particularly in the EU. Prof. Dr. El-Beltagy, Chair Global Forum on Agricultural Research, gave a  comprehensive account of how climate change and other global developments impact agricultural production. He illustrated how green biotechnology can help in producing crops that can survive the effects of climate change. Ms. Maive Rute, Director for the Biotechnology, Agriculture and Fisheries and Food Directorate, European Commission (EC) gave an account on how biotechnology, including GM technology, can benefit Europe and what the European Commission does to support biotechnology research.

Dr. Emilio Rodriguez from EC's Joint Research Centre and Institute for Prospective Technological Studies  presented the economic and productivity impacts of growing GM crops in the world and in the EU. Dr. Piero Morandini from the University of Milan presented various research projects that are halted at the laboratory level due to costs and regulatory hurdles to conduct field trials in Europe. He presented the difficult experiences being faced by European public researchers due to the way GMO regulations are implemented in Europe.

The seminar was attended by over 150 participants including scientists as well as representatives of the European Commission, EU Governments, industry, NGOs, and various organizations.

The results of the meeting can be found at Information on the proceedings was provided by Mahaletchumy Arujanan (  of the Malaysia Biotechnology Information Center