Food Law News - EU - 2000

Commission Press Release (IP/00/994 ), 12 September 2000

GM FOOD - The European Union announces European Chair of the EU-US Biotechnology Consultative Forum

The European Commission announces that the first meeting of the recently established EU-US Biotechnology Consultative Forum will take place on 12 September. Ruud Lubbers, Professor of Globalisation at Tilburg University and former Prime Minister of The Netherlands, has been invited to act as European co-chair of Forum. His US counterpart will be Cutberto Garza, Chair of the US National Academies Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board.

The establishment of the Consultative Forum was announced at the EU-US Summit on 31 May, in follow-up to a joint initiative by European Commission President, Romano Prodi, and US President, Bill Clinton. The purpose of the Forum, which will bring together twenty eminent independent experts from the EU and US and encompasses a wide spectrum of perspectives, is to discuss the broad range issues of concern in biotechnology in the European Union and United States. The Forum is to report its eventual assessment to EU and US leaders.

The twenty-member Consultative Forum has been mandated to reflect upon, discuss and assess the benefits and risks of modern biotechnology, including health, safety, economic development, food security and environmental aspects. The Forum will also address cross-cutting issues such as the role of science, the ethical dimension, consumer information, public perceptions, risk analysis and intellectual property rights.

The first meeting of the EU-US Forum is to be held in Brussels on 12 September 2000. At least three further face-to-face meetings will be held in Brussels and in Washington. The members of the Forum will carry out much of their work by email and internet discussion. Further information about the work of the Forum will be made available on the European Commission website:

The EU members of the Biotechnology Consultative Forum are as follows:

The US members are:

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