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Food and Democracy

5th European Conference on GMO-free regions - 24-25 April 2009 Lucerne, Switzerland

On 24 and 25 April 2009, 300 people from 30 countries will gather in Lucerne for the 5th European Conference on GMO-free regions in order to discuss the future of agriculture and food.

The Conference takes place at a crucial moment of the debate about GMOs in Europe. Important decisions on authorizations of GMOs, the autonomy of member states and the creation of GMO-free zones are to be taken in the coming months. The conference is committed to finding long-term solutions to ensure GMO-free food and animal feed supplies for Europe.

At the moment, more than 230 regions, over 4200 municipalities and other local entities and tens of thousands of farmers and food producers in Europe have declared themselves "GMO-free" rejecting the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture and food on their territories. Many EU countries such as France, Austria, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg ("de facto"- bans also exist in Poland and Italy) and most recently Germany have banned the cultivation of the only GM corn authorized in the EU MON 810.

Since 2005, the movement of GMO-free regions in Europe holds an annual meeting. In April 2007, Greens/EFA hosted the 3rd International GMO-free Regions Conference on Biodiversity and Rural Development, which took place in the European Parliament in Brussels. In 2008, we have been contributing to the Planet Diversity Conference in Bonn/ Germany and this year we are supporting the Conference on Food and Democracy in Lucerne.

Greens/EFA has been supporting the GMO-free regions movement for years and ensures that the concerns of civil society find their way into the discussions in the European Parliament. Thanks to our joint work and commitment, Europe is to a large extent GMO-free. Let's continue working on it!

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