"Introgression from Genetically Modified Plants (GMP) into wild relatives and its consequences"

Conference Announcement:

21-24 January 2003, Amsterdam
initiated by the European Science Foundation AIGM Program

organised by
Faculty of Science, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Robert Koch Institute & University of Aachen, Germany

Venue: Aula, Free University Amsterdam

Prior to the start of the conference, there will be a press conference: Tuesday January 21, 13.00-14.30 , at the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit, de Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam (request for information attached below).

Will genes from genetically modified crop plants (GMPs) move into wild plants and what will be their environmental impact? The world’s leading scientists will meet at Amsterdam to address this question. At the invitation of this European Science Foundation programme some 40 leading international scientists working in the field of biosafety research will present and discuss the state of the art with respect to the possible consequences of the influx of genetic material from crops into wild relatives. The conference aims to summarize the current scientific knowledge on gene flow from GMPs and the ecological and evolutionary effects of the introgression of transgenes into wild species.

Gene flow – the escape of new attributes from crops to wild plants – is the main focus. „We know that gene flow will happen “ says Dr. Hans den Nijs from the University of Amsterdam, who is one of the organizers on behalf of the ESF. „Gene flow is – after all – a basic component of evolutionary biology. We must learn to address the consequences of gene flow“.

In 2002, worldwide genetically modified plants were grown on more than 58 Million ha, an area bigger than Germany, Netherlands, and Belgium together. Extensive biosafety research has been carried out in the EU and USA since the first field trial with plants in 1986. „The conference starts with an overview of how conventional crops have influenced their wild relatives through gene flow. This is a process, that hasn’t caused any public concern yet, and that can be used as a baseline comparison to genetically modified plants now“ states Dr. Detlef Bartsch, the co-organizing research scientist from the University of Aachen, who is also working at a regulatory institution in the Robert Koch Institute, Berlin.

During the conference several in-dept discussions will take place in special workshops. Currently, more than 200 participants from science, plant breeding, governmental regulatory institution, and policymakers, involved in this field have registered for the meeting. Registration is still possible (http://www.science.uva.nl/research/ibed/Introgression/)

This conference is one of a series of meetings organized by the Assessment of the Impact of GM plants (AIGM ) programme of the European Science Foundation. Dr Jeremy Sweet ( NIAB, Cambridge, UK), coordinator of AIGM said „This programme has successfully brought together different scientists throughout Europe to study the Agronomic and Environmental Impact of GMOs. This conference discusses the findings of international research groups and also the conclusions of several workshops on this topic that have been conducted over the last four years of the programme. We are very grateful to the ESF and its member organizations for their continuing support.“

For more detailed information see http://www.science.uva.nl/research/ibed/Introgression/

Contacts:

Detlef Bartsch (Robert Koch Institute, Berlin) [email protected], Tel. +49-1888-754-3003
Hans den Nijs (University of Amsterdam): [email protected], Tel. +31 20 5257660
Jeremy Sweet (NIAB, UK): [email protected]

Name / Organisation

I wish to participate at the press conference: Tuesday January 21, 13.00-14.00, at the Main Building of the Vrije Universiteit, de Boelelaan 1105, Amsterdam.

Please reserve/sent an information package set.

Please contact:

Conference Secretariat ESF GMO Introgression Conference
Lidy Groot Congress Events
P.O. Box 83005
1080 AA Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel.: +31 206793218
Fax: +31 206758236
E-mail: [email protected]

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