Programme modifications reserved. The main language of the symposium will be English. Translations in German and French are provided free of charge.


Knowledge gaps in GMO-risk assessments and the missing research agenda in agroecology.

Registration and welcome coffee
08.45 Opening and introduction
Dr. Sc. Luigi D’Andrea, executive secretary of the Swiss Alliance for GE-free agriculture
08.55 Introductory speech: Why the GMO Venture Is Scientifically Unsound – from the Perspectives of Both Biological Science and Computer Science (summary)
Dr. Steven M. Druker, founder of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, author of the book «Altered Genes, Twisted Truth», USA.

Session 1: Knowledge gaps in the risk assessment of GMOs

Key-note speeches session 1:

  1. Bt crops – what is left of the great promises?
    Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, Institute of Integrative Biology IBZ, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland.
  2. Are GMOs safe to eat?  Current inadequate requirements for feeding studies and what happens when you exceed them.
    Dr. Judy Carman, Epidemiologist and Biochemist. Director Institute of Health and Environmental Research, Kensington Park, South Australia.
  3. Genetically modified plants: Opportunities and challenges – the road ahead.
    Prof. Dr. Patrick Matthias, Senior Group Leader at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI), Switzerland.
  4. How (some) regulators are getting it wrong on RNA-based genetic engineering.
    Prof. Jack Heinemann, Lecturer in Genetics at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand.
10.50 Coffee break
11.10 Panel discussion session 1: 

Moderated by Dr. Steven M. Druker

12.30 Lunch

Session 2: Which innovation for which agriculture? Transforming the agrofood production system and the research agenda.

Key-note speeches session 2:

  1. Precaution and Innovation: Implications for GMOs and Agroecology.
    Dr. David Gee, former member of the European Environment Agency, author of the book «Late Lessons from Early Warnings», United Kingdom.
  2. Agroecological innovation: Transforming the dominant agro-food system?
    Dr. Les Levidow, The Open University, Development Policy and Practice, United Kingdom.
  3. Agroecology for Food Sovereignty.
    Prof. Michel Pimbert, Executive Director of the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience at Coventry University, United Kingdom.
  4. Learning from the past for a better future: why a complex food system is needed.
    Dr. Hans Rudolf Herren, President and CEO of the Millennium Institute, co-founder and President of Biovision, Switzerland.
15.10 Coffee break
15.30 Panel discussion session 2:

Moderated by Dr. Angelika Hilbeck


Conclusion and closing

Directly after the symposium, there will be a free public event organised by Swissaid. For more information and registration please click here or have a look at the flyer.

18.00 Opening and presentations from Fabio Leippert, Michel Pimbert and Aline Zongo
19.00 Panel discussion with Aline Zongo, Jack Heinemann, Urs Niggli and Beat Keller
20.00 Aperitif