Sustainable agriculture – does it need modern biotech?


Sustainable agriculture – does it need modern biotech? Mer information
Mer information

Sustainable agriculture – does it need modern biotech?

On line press clippings about the seminar:

In the future, sustainable agricultural production systems must increase productivity, reduce its ecological footprint and its use of resources, while meeting demands on food supply, nutrient intake, biodiversity and industrial/bio-energy feedstocks. Science is offering plant biotechnology as one of the instruments in the toolbox providing solutions to these seemingly contradicting requirements.

Modern biotech is sometimes seen as opposite to sustainable agriculture. In Europe there is a strong resistance towards cultivation of genetically modified crops and there is a very complicated system of regulations and restrictions concerning them. Rules for organic farming include a sharp borderline to the use of genetically modified crops. At this seminar we want to challenge the conventional European view of plant biotech and address these issues from an opposite angle.

Pamela C. Ronald and Raoul W. Adamchak are the authors of ‘Tomorrow’s Table’, a book that has attracted much attention over the last years. Pamela Ronald is Professor of Plant Pathology and a geneticist; Raoul Adamchak is the manager of the certified Organic Market Garden at the Student Farm, both at University of California Davis. The two of them are also happily married to each other. In their book, the authors discuss how research and development on plant biotech and organic farming can profit from each other. They also present examples that show how modern science in the biotech field can be intertwined with high ambitions for environmentally friendly and resource lean production systems that also meet with ethical considerations.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry (KSLA), The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA), and the Swedish Seed Association now invite all interested to an open seminar where “Tomorrow’s Table” is presented by the authors and commented by Swedish stakeholders and policy makers in the fields of plant biotech, agriculture, food and environment.


Moderator   Annika Åhnberg, KSLA and IVA

09.00 Coffee and registration
09.30 Introduction by the moderator
Annika Åhnberg
09.40 Biotechnology for Sustainable and Competitive Agriculture and Food Systems
– the Mistra Biotech project
Sven Ove Hansson, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology
10.00 In which ways could modern biotech be part of sustainable agriculture?
Jan Bengtsson, SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
10.20 GMO:s in agriculture and in research – a short introduction
Jens Sundström, SLU
10.30 Where is biotech research in Europe heading?
Sten Stymne, SLU
10.45 Fruit and water break
11.10 Tomorrow’s Table, Organic Farming, Genetics and the Future of Food
Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak, UC Davis
12.20 Lunch
13.10 Discussions led by the moderator on– research, risks and benefits
Rodomiro Ortiz, SLU, Ilona Kryspin Sørensen, DTU (Technical University of Denmark), Juergen Logemann, BASF
13.40 Challenges for sustainable agriculture
Johan Rockström, Stockholm Resilience Centre
 14.00 – production issues
Carl-Eric Ehrenkrona, Swedish Organic Farmers Association,
Bengt Persson, LRF (Federation of Swedish Farmers)
14.30 – consumer issues
Ingmar Kroon,  Axfood, Jenny Jewert, science journalist och Inge Gerremo, SLU Global
15.00 Coffee break
15.30 – ethical considerations
Torbjörn Tännsjö, Stockholm University och Nils Uddenberg, KSLA
16.00 Summing up by the moderator
 Continued informal discussions and refreshments thereafter