HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Valencia, Spain or Virtually from your home or work.
September 11-13, 2023 | Valencia, Spain
GPMB 2020

Klaus Ammann

Klaus Ammann, Speaker at Plant Science Conferences 2022
University of Bern, Switzerland
Title : Overregulation of GM crops is too expensive, delays approvals and harms research


The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (CPB) has now been adopted by 172 parties . It still builds on the principle that GM crop plants might bare risks in contrast to the conventional crops: Objective of CPB. The huge apparatus on risk assessment based on this protocol is building on the principle, that the mechanism of transgenicity is totally artificial and is not found in nature. Modern molecular science insights have proven the contrary, as shown in on the molecular basis of transgenesis. This results in maintaining to an asymmetric risk assessment of innovation of GM crops. The possible exemption of widespread GM crops in Art. 7.4 bis have been considered since many years, but no final decision has been taken. Basically, Genetic Engineering is in a constant debate, but in Europe no final decisions have been taken

A really negative follow-up of populist opinions brings a halting of regulatory approvals since 1998 in Europe. Although many authors consider the full extent of reasons still to be conjectural, many data suggest that changes in regulatory environment may have been a cause. In a combination of high costs for lost implementation and high costs for regulatory approvals the present state and operational experience has grown into a major obstacle of modern crop breeding. One of the main difficulties in this kind of regulatory stall is the very active role of GMO opponents, most of their fundamentalist arguments are contradicted in many peer reviewed publications, but still, European politicians and an important part of the public still hang on to the populist arguments. In Asia, signs of progress are becoming reality for the Golden Rice and Bt-Brinjal.


Professor. em. University of Bern Born:6 December 1940 in Bern, Thesis: vegetation and glacier history, summa cum laude in 1972 Bern University. Assisting to Swiss Atlas of Plant Distribution, first Swiss research department. lichenology (chemosystematics and bio-monitoring air pollution). Lectures in plant biodiversity and vegetation ecology, director of the Bern Botanic Garden 1996-2006 and Professor h.c. 2000. Sabbatical stays: Bergen, Norway, Duke University in North Carolina, University of the West Indies in Jamaica and Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Emeritus 2006, guest prof. Delft University of Technology, Sabanci University in Istanbul. Moderating ‘Berne Debates’, early blog on plant biotechnology, presently—ASK-FORCE at PRRI (Public Research and Regulation Initiative) http://pubresreg.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=70&Itemid=71,-FORUM at European Federation of Biotechnology http://www.efb-central.org/index.php/forums/,—KLAUSBLOG at Black Sea Biotechnology Association, http://www.bsbanet.org/klausblog/. Numerous committees: Chair European expert committee on plant conservation, Council of Europe, founding member Planta Europa, Swiss Biosafety Committee Biodiversity Section of EFB. Several Swiss and European research projects on gene flow, plant conservation, lichen chemosystematics and monitoring air pollution. Publications on biogeography, vegetation history, vegetation ecology, plant systematics (monography on Bromus), gene flow of crops and their wild relatives and agricultural biodiversity. He also has a special interest in Pythagorean Harmonics science and holistic questions in evolution.