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7-Misc: Farm ministers and biotech industry meet in St. Louis, U.S.

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TITLE:  Farm ministers flocking to St. Louis next week
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   May 21, 1999

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Farm ministers flocking to St. Louis next week 

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan
Glickman and farm ministers from around the globe will gather in
St. Louis early next week for an international meeting to discuss
biotechnology and farm trade. The two-day "World Congress" is the
inaugural undertaking of the the World Agricultural Forum, a St.
Louis-based group founded in 1997 to examine agricultural issues.
The group's primary sponsor is the Danforth Foundation, a
philanthropic group funded by the family that founded the St.
Louis-based Ralston Purina Co. Leonard Guarraia, chairman of the
forum's board of director, described the Congress "as the first
ever meeting of all of global agriculture, from financing to the

Glickman will speak to the group on Monday, squeezed in between
industry roundtable sessions on biotechnology and the task of
feeding the world in the 21st century. Monsanto Co. President
Hendrik Verfaillie and Cargill President Ernie Micek will speak
before Glickman on industry's role in creating an abundant and
healthy food supply. Monsanto and Cargill are both corporate
sponsors of the World Agricultural Forum. The group plans to hold
a World Congress every two years in St. Louis. Regional meetings
are also planned in Asia, Europe and South America.

The focus on Tuesday will turn to international trade. A morning
session on building food markets will feature remarks by James
Murphy, assistant U.S. trade representative for agricultural
affairs, on preparations for world farm trade talks that begin in
late November in Seattle. In the afternoon, agriculture ministers
from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Argentina, Ireland and
Romania will discuss major trade and production issues affecting
their countries. Other farm ministers from North America, South
America, Africa, Europe and Asia are also expected to take part.
However, Glickman is scheduled to return to Washington on Monday.


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