GENET archive


9-Misc: Experts maintain 'co-existence' of GM and GM-free crops biologically impossible

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Experts maintain 'co-existence' of GM and GM-free crops
        biologically impossible
SOURCE: Consumers International
DATE:   30 Sep 2005

------------------ archive: ------------------

Experts maintain 'co-existence' of GM and GM-free crops biologically

Leading experts maintained that it is biologically impossible for GM and
GM-free crops to co-exist, at a conference organised by Consumers
International (CI) and Regione Emilia-Romagna.

Ignacio Chapela, Associate Professor at University of California-
Berkeley, told CI: '"Co-existence" might be a convenient thing to have
politically or commercially but biologically it is an impossibility. For
most GMOs the problem of contamination arises immediately: within one
generation you have escaping genes.'

Ignacio Chapela was one of fourteen experts speaking at a conference
'"Co-existence", contamination, and GM-free zones: Jeopardising consumer
choice?' in Bologna, Italy on 9 September 2005. Speeches mostly tackled
problems with GM contamination and how to legally and technically
maintain GM-free agriculture.

Angelika Hilbeck, ETH - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich,
told the conference: '[trying to prevent GMO contamination] starts with
the seeds; you want to make sure you get uncontaminated seeds. This is
the origin of everything - from there on the contamination multiplies.
For example, in Canada it is hardly possible to get GM-free canola seeds
any more. Even the seed stock has been contaminated at this point.'

Benedikt Haerlin, Director of Save our Seeds and Foundation on Future
Farming, told CI: '[the term] "co-existence" as used by industry means
that those rejecting GMOs have to accept a so-called minimum level of GM

David Cuming, GM Campaigns Manager, Consumers International says:
'Listening to the experts it is apparent that contamination will occur if
GM crops are planted alongside GM-free crops. Governments must take
urgent measures to stop GMO contamination to ensure that GM-free food
remains widely available to all consumers.'

Read speeches, exclusive interviews, and other resources about GMO
contamination, 'co-existence' and GM-free zones:

Consumers International is a federation of consumer organisations
dedicated to the protection and promotion of consumer's rights worldwide
through empowering national consumer groups and campaigning at the
national level. It currently represents 234 organisations in 113
countries. For more information, see:


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
In den Steinäckern 13
D - 38116 Braunschweig

P: +49-531-5168746
F: +49-531-5168747
M: +49-162-1054755
E: coordination(*)
W: <>

   GENET-news mailing list