ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Dzte:  26 February 2001

'SEEDS OF OPPORTUNITY' - Pro-GM farce c/o University of London - time to protest

1.    Pro-GM farce c/o University of London - time to protest
2.    Full Conference Programme
3.    How to find out more
*  *  *
1.    Pro-GM farce c/o University of London

Last year's OECD conference in Edinburgh chaired by GM enthusiast Sir John Krebs - which Arpad Pusztai (just about  the only GM-critical food scientist invited) described as a propaganda forum for the biotech industry - seems to have set the pattern.

Next we had biotech zealot CS Prakash appearing at a UK agricultural college and at the Institute of Economic Affairs, courtesy of the US embassy.

Now here are the full details on the latest farce:  a U.S. Embassy, University of London, and Royal Agricultural College conference from May 31-June 1, 2001 entitled: "Seeds of Opportunity: The Role of Biotechnology in Agriculture."

Accordingto the conference blurb 'The "Seeds of Opportunity" will bring together leading international figures in agricultural biotechnology in order to demystify this technology and to discuss  its potential advantages and disadvantages.'  It also says, 'Participation will be broad-based'.

Here are the facts:

The Conference Chair is none other than Professor Philip Stott, right wing contrarian, climate-change denier, pro-GM zealot and intimate of the Institute of Economic Affairs who have been running the UK end of the contrarian pro-GM, anti-organic smear campaign.

This 'conference' is, in fact, nothing other than a platform for a pro-GM wish list comprising some of the world's most rabid GM proponents, many of whose contributions litter the pages of Prof
CBiullsh*t,  eg C.S. Prakash, Phil Dale, Lord Taverne, Michael Wilson, Lord Haskins, Brian Heap, George McGovern, Charles Arntzen, Sir Robert May, Norman Borlaug etc.

While session 1, on the environment, makes at least a vague (a very vague!!) stab at balance, take a look, for example, at CONFERENCE SESSION 2 - Agricultural Biotechnology and the Consumer, and try and find a single person who is either a GM sceptic or even remotely
represents the consumer.  Is this what they mean by broad based?

That Stott has conned the University of London into lending its name to this pro-GM farce is an outrage and should be the focus of protest - as should the whole disgraceful event which is clearly nothing more than a major US funded, contrarian directed, exercise in bio-spin.

2.    Full Conference Programme

THURSDAY 31st MAY, 2001

8.30 am - 9.30 am: Conference Registration (Brunei Gallery, SOAS).
9.00 am: Press Conference for the media with key speakers.
9.30 am: Welcome by the Conference Chair, Professor Philip Stott of the
University of London, and Opening Address by Professor Sir Robert May (President of The Royal Society).

9.45 am - 12.30 pm: CONFERENCE SESSION 1 - Agricultural Biotechnology and the Environment.
Chair: Sir Crispin Tickell.
Dr. Phil Dale, Leader of the Genetic Modification and Biosafety Research Group, John Innes Centre, U.K.;
Dr. Rosie Hails, Ecologist and Principal Scientific Officer, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Oxford, U.K.;
Mr. Graham Wynne, CEO of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
11.00 - 11.30 am: TEA/COFFEE.
Commentator: Mr. Paul Brown, Environmental Correspondent, The Guardian

Q&As until lunch.

12.30 pm - 1.45 pm: LUNCHEON.

1.45 pm - 4.15 pm : CONFERENCE SESSION 2 - Agricultural Biotechnology and the Consumer.
Chair: Lord Taverne.
Dr. Phil Kerr, Protein Technology Incorporated, U.S.A.;
Professor Michael Wilson, Chief Executive of Horticultural Research International
Lord Haskins, Chairman of Northern Foods.
3.10 pm - 3.30 pm: TEA/COFFEE.
Commentator: Mr. Clive Beddall, Grocer Magazine.
Q&As until Conference Keynote Speakers.

4.15 pm: KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: Chair - Mr. Jonathan Taylor.
Dr. Norman Borlaug, Nobel Peace Prize Winner;
His Excellency Mr. George McGovern, U.S. Ambassador to the FAO.

6.30 pm: Reception at Winfield House, Regents Park.

FRIDAY 1st JUNE, 2001

9.00 am - 12.15 pm: CONFERENCE SESSION 3 - Agricultural Biotechnology:
the Developing World and 'Pharming'.
Chair: Professor Brian Heap (The Royal Society).
Dr. C.S. Prakash, Tuskegee University;
Dr. Margaret Karembu, The AfriCentre, Kenya;
Dr. Aerial Alvarez-Morales, Mexican Center for Research and Advanced Studies.
10.15 am - 10.35 am: TEA/COFFEE.
Dr. Charles Arntzen, Arizona State University, U.S.A.
Commentator: Dr Tom Stuttaford, The Times newspaper.
Q&As until Keynote Speaker

12.15 pm: KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Chair: Professor Conrad Lichtenstein (QMW).
Professor Sir Harold Kroto, Nobel Laureate, The Vega Science Trust.

1.00 pm - 1.15 pm: Conference Summing Up.
1.15 pm: Light Luncheon.
2.00 pm: Final media briefing.
2.30 pm: Optional: Guided Tour of The British Museum.
3.     How to find out more

The Conference Administrator, "Seeds of Opportunity", 132 Ebury Street,
London SW1W 9QQ, U.K.; Tel: +44 (0)207 824 8681; Fax: +44 (0)207 730
1390; e-mail: Andrew Kendall

The official Web Site (now online) is at:

The venue for the conference is in central London, at the Brunei Gallery, SOAS.

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