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Dutch GMO Free Zones conference well attended

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The program covered the following topics:

  • Introduction: Overview of the current situation with gmo's in the Dutch food products and agriculture: why gmo-free zones? – by Maaike Raaijmakers (Biologica)
  • European GMO-free region network: common lobby in Brussels & cooperation and exchange – by present chairman Aïtor Mintegui (Bask Country)
  • GMO policy and regulation in Wallone : Respect and Freedom of Choice for All – by Jean Luc Servais
  • German GMO-free regions movement: GMO-free municipal land, church land, farm land and cooperation with bee keepers – by Ralf Bilke (BUND-Nortrhein-Westfalen)
  • Opportunities and limitations for GMO-free zones in EU law: directive on coexistence most promissing – by Thijs Etty (IVM-VU)
  • Opportunities and limitations for GMO-free zones in Dutch law: spacial planning by municipality or province – by Bondine Kloostra (Van den Biezen law office)

In the afternoon participants set down in smaller groups to develop strategies for creating gmo-free zones. This resulted in a list of 25 suggestions like: start with investing in awareness raising activities, embed the concept in a broader agriculture policy or vision for your region, municipality or province, make sure an intiative is rooted in the community and not a top-down political decision, cooperation of organic and conventional farmers could be difficult, but is necessary.

Many participants were enthusiastic and expressed interest in a follow-up activity. The organisors intend to organise a workshop to support interested participants in developing strategies for their specific regions.

A reader was compiled for this day, which can be ordered with linda[at]aseed.net, or downloaded here.
A detailed report including the powerpoint presentations will be sent to participants and can also be ordered or downloaded here when finished.