FAO Symposium On Agricultural Biotech Raises Lobbying Concerns 15/02/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 4 Comments 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)An international symposium on how agricultural biotechnologies can benefit small farmers organised by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation is taking place this week. Small farmers and civil society raised concerns about the influence of agribusiness on FAO policies, as the ghost of a 2010 conference and farmers’ ire lingers. The International Symposium on “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnologies in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition,” is taking place in Rome from 15-17 February at the FAO headquarters. According to the FAO, the symposium “will explore how the application of science and technology, particularly agricultural biotechnologies, can benefit smallholders in developing sustainable food systems and improving nutrition in the context of climate change.” A timetable for the symposium and a summary of speakers’ presentations are available here [pdf]. In a joint statement, civil society and farmers organisation, said today, “We are concerned as to why FAO has decided to hold this Symposium, and why now. We remember the disastrous last attempt by FAO to act as an undercover agent for biotechnology companies, by organizing the International Technical Conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 2010” (IPW, Biodiversity/Genetic Resources/Biotech, 9 March 2010) “We are alarmed that FAO is once again fronting for the same corporations, just when these companies are talking about further mergers amongst themselves, which would concentrate the commercial seeds sector in even fewer hands,” they said. At issue, according to a joint press release (Via Campesina, Grain, and ETC Group), is the agenda, which they find unbalanced as it includes speakers from industry such as, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, CropLife International, and CEVA among others, which they say are promoting GMOs, while they found only one speaker openly critical of GMOs. “FAO should support the peasant technologies, that offer the most innovative, open source, and the effective pathway to ending hunger and malnutrition,” said the release. 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 "FAO Symposium On Agricultural Biotech Raises Lobbying Concerns" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.