Joint Workshops on the 8th

9:00 - 11:00 Parallel Workshops

Trade agreements and GMO-free Europe

One highly controversial issue in the EU-US trade agreements are the impacts on the GMO-free food  production in Europe. US official have identified better market access for GM crops as main objective for the agricultural part and identified current EU GMO rules as trade barrier. Civil society groups, food operators as well as regional representatives will strategize how to block attempts to bypass and undermine key GMO requirements, especially any efforts for hidden contamination in food.

Organized by Friends of the Earth Europe and European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility

GMO transparency through labelling : mandatory GMO labelling vs voluntary GMO-free labelling

The EU GMO labelling regulation has had a great impact on the use of GMOs in food products, as there are only very few GMO-labelled products in the shelves. But it has not been able to prevent the imports of millions of tons of GMOs to feed EU animals. The workshop aims at taking stock of voluntary GMO-free labelling for animal products in the EU and identifying the best possible options for GMO transparency and labelling to increase the share of GMO-free animal products in the EU. It will gather producers of animal products, economic stakeholders, regulators and regional authorities.

Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association, USA
Alexander Hissting, VLOG - Association Food without Genetic Engineering
Ursula Bittner, Danube Soya Association
Regional authority - Renaud Layadi, Région Bretagne
GMO-free retailer - Hervé Gomichon, Carrefour
GMO-free labelling in Slovenia - Franci Bavec, University of Maribor, Slovenia
GMO-free labelling animal production - Casper von der Crone, KAT
A GMO-free soybean trading company - Laurent Houis, Solteam
A soya crushing company - Natalija Kurjak, Victoria group, Serbia
Moderator: Arnaud Apoteker, GMO campaigner, The Greens/ EFA Group


GMO labeling in the EU by Alexander Hissting
Significance of GMO-free labelling for economic stakeholders; how to increase the share of GMO-free animal products? by Ursula Bittner

Organized by The Greens/ EFA Group, Danube Soya Association

New GMO techniques, risk assessment and legal definitions

In this workshop, we will summarize and present the outcomes of the workshops on new emerging biotechnologies from the previous day. The most important safety and risk aspects of the new emerging biotechnologies and their products will be presented. We will explain and discuss the different narratives and positions by various stakeholders and actors in the EU. The aim is to support civil societies in their on-going efforts to maintain that these emerging biotechnologies give rise to GMOs that require careful risk assessment, regulation and monitoring under precaution.


New techniques in plant biotechnology -­‐ old deficiencies in risk assessment by Eva Gelinsky

Organized by European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility

Opt-out: national implementation, national bans, role of the regions

In several EU countries, discussions are underway on how to implement the new Directive (EU) 2015/412 on the possibility for Member States to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs in their territory. The workshop will focus on the key question of how to keep GM crops out of our fields in a way that is both effective and legally solid. Is it through an exclusion from EU-wide authorisations, in agreement with the biotech companies, or through national legislation? Is it at national or regional level? What are the “compelling grounds” that GMO bans need to be based on, according to the Directive?

Gerald Lonauer – Upper Austria
Roberto Gatto – Marche (Italy)
Moderator: Franziska Achterberg – Greenpeace European Unit

Organized by European GMO-Free Regions Network, Greenpeace European Unit

The end of the ‘zero tolerance’ policy in the EU? The impact of low level presence of unauthorised GMOs for the food industry and public authorities

The European Commission is currently assessing the need for "harmonisation of methods of sampling and analysis for GM material in food". This assessment could lead the EU to drop its 'zero tolerance' policy (like it did for feed in 2011) and later to attempt again to set up contamination thresholds in seeds. Allowing the presence of unauthorised GMOs in food products would represent massive consequences for the food industry and for the public authorities in charge of controls, as it would shift the burden of testing and liability onto the food sector, at the benefit of grain traders and GMO exporting countries (which are lobbying for that both at the EU and international levels). The workshop will be an opportunity to discuss the impacts of LLP on the food industry, and reasons and ways to prevent such a change of policy in the EU (and beyond).

Josef Hoppichler - Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas (Austria)
Joachim Weckmann - Märkisches Landbrot GmbH
Beate Thießen – Life Food GmbH TAIFUN-Tofuprodukte
Heike Moldenhauer - BUND - Friends of the Earth Germany
Moderator: Alejandro Gil - IFOAM EU Policy coordinator

Austria’s experiences with zero GMO-tolerance - critical reflections and some lessons learned by Josef Hoppichler
Impact of LLP of unauthorised GMOs in the food sector by Joachim Weckmann
- Impact on the soya supply chain and consumers choice by Beate Thießen
Zero tolerance and LLP in food and feed in Europe by Heike Moldenhauer

Organized by IFOAM EU

Towards a European protein Strategy – integrating regional, national and EU approaches

Europe faces a strong dependency of soya imports from oversea countries, which has not only negative effects in Europe but also on a global level. To reduce this protein gap a variation of actions are needed. Regional, national and European wide strategies are developed and will be highlighted and discussed in this workshop. This extend from reducing imports, increasing sustainable purchasing from oversea but especially from Europe, promoting the sustainable use of protein and sustainable cultivation methods of soya.

Matthias Krön, Danube Soya – Strategies for increasing local, regional and inter-regional protein supply
Birgit Wilhelm – The protein gap and its international effects; perspectives of a sustainable protein supply
Donal Murphy-Bokern, Protein policy on a European level
Vuk Djordjevic, Importance of further Research and status quo in the Danube Region Discussion
Moderator: Susanne Fromwald


Strategies for increasing local, regional and inter-regional protein supply by Matthias Krön
Protein policy in Europe by Donal Murphy-Bokern
The protein gap and its international effects - Perspectives of a Sustainable Protein Supply by Birgit Wilhelm

Organized by Danube Soya Association