FAO ‘Does Not Support Corporations’, Director General Says 17/02/2016 by Catherine Saez, Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In response to the concerns about industry lobbying voiced by civil society recently at a symposium on agricultural biotechnologies, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) director general insists on the UN agency’s neutrality. “Let me reassure you that FAO does not support transnational corporations. FAO is a neutral forum and we stand by our mandate to eradicate hunger and malnutrition,” FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva was quoted as saying in a release today. On 15 February, in a joint statement, civil society and farmers’ organisations voiced concerns about the symposium and possible industry lobbying the UN organisation. One of the concerns was the participation in the symposium of a number of speakers from the biotech industry, favourable to genetically modified organisms (IPW, Biodiversity/Genetic Resources/Biotech, 15 February 2016). Graziano da Silva met with a civil society delegation on 17 February, according to the FAO press release. He said the agenda of the symposium “provides a balance between civil society and the private sector representatives and that equal space had been offered to both.” “The symposium focuses mainly on the broad range of biotechnologies that could result in yield increases, better nutritional qualities, and improved productivities of crops, livestock, fish and trees benefitting family farmers and their food systems, nutrition and livelihoods,” the release said. Graziano Da Silva “reassured the civil society delegation” that the symposium is not about GMOs “and that agricultural biotechnologies are much broader than GMOs.” The director general also took note of civil society concerns related to intellectual property rights, according to the release, and said it is also a key issue for FAO. The International Symposium on the Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition, took place in Rome from 15-17 February. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related Catherine Saez may be reached at email@example.com."FAO ‘Does Not Support Corporations’, Director General Says" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.