GMOs?A boon or a bane?

20 November 1998

GMOs?A boon or a bane?

LIKE it or not, genetically modified plants, animals and organisms are likely to play a growing role in the food and farming industries of tomorrow.

Will history prove them to be a blessing or a bane for farmers and consumers? Could the carefully regulated development of such technology allow increased yields of better quality food produced with the use of fewer pesticides and fertilisers? Or should we turn our backs on a science that seeks to tamper with the building blocks of life?

Could genetically modified organisms become the flashpoint of a new trade dispute between the US and Europe? EU concernabout the import of unlabelled GMO products from North America has already raised tensions between Brussels and Washington.

To answer those questions, and many others on this highly controversial topic, farmers weekly has assembled an expert panel of speakers to address our conference Genetic Modification – Path to Profit or Road to Ruin on Thurs 4 Feb 1999 at the National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry Rd, Bickenhill, Solihull, West Midlands. Chairing the conference will be Nick Clarke of Radio 4s World at One and Round Britain Quiz.

Special emphasis will be placed on answering questions from the audience and FW and Crops readers. So make a date to join us and have your say on a subject will affect all our futures.

GENETIC MODIFICATION – Path to profit or road to ruin?

Thursday, Feb 4 1999, National Motorcycle Museum, Coventry Rd, Bicken Hill, Sollihull, West Midlands. Conference chairman: Nick Clarke of BBCRadio 4s World at One and Round Britain Quiz.

Morning Session

9.00-9.20 Registration/coffee

9.20-9.30 Chairmans welcome and opening vote

9.30-9.55 The promise of GMOtechnologyDr Doug Hard, Monsanto

9.55-10.20 GMOs:The dangers aheadRobin Maynard, FOE

10.20-10.45 Realising the benefits while minimising riskProf Ian Crute, director designate, Institute of Arable Crops Research

10.45-11.10 A consumer perspectiveDavid Hatch, National Consumer Council

11.10-11.20 Coffee

11.20-12.20 Questions

12.20-12.45 The governments view

12.45-13.00 Questions

13.00-14.00 Lunch

Afternoon Session

14.00-14.20 The EUs strategy on GMOs

14.20-14.45 The US vision of GMO technology and tradeRalph Gifford, US agricultural attache, Brussels

14.40-14.50 Questions

14.50-16.00 Hopes and fears for GMO technology

Leading industry experts reveal their hopes and fears for the development of GMOs. Key speakers will outline their thoughts before taking part in a panel discussion.

Taking part will be Prof Sir Colin Spedding, Farm Animal Welfare Council, Dr Nigel Poole, Zeneca, John McLeod, director of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Dr Michael Antoniou, London University, Jim Reed, UKASTA, James Townshend of Velcourt, John Chapple of CWS, Patrick Holden of the Soil Association and the NFUs Bob Fiddaman.

16.00-1700 Questions and discussion

GMO Conference Registration Form

Please detach and return with your fee to Jill Brown, farmers weekly conference office, First Floor, Aldgate House, 74 Grove Rd, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1BT. Telephone 0181-7707698 (fax 0181-7709775). Conference fee includes coffee, lunch and tea.

Please reserve place(s) at £111.62 each (£95 plus £16.62 VAT at 17.5%. I enclose a cheque payable to farmers weekly for £…………..or charge my Access/Visa/American Express card number.

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