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World Conference Series

CORE Partners with United Nations

to host Biotech Seminar


The subject of biotechnology to increase food production has sparked controversy and debate.


Proponents argue that the use of biotechnology can increase the efficiency of farmers particularly in developing nations. They also point to the increased resistance to pests and herbicides, the greater nutritional content and the positive effect on the environment that it can have.




Opponents cite the unknown long term consequences and ethical implications as their primary reservation in its use. They advocate further testing and stricter regulation.

CORE’s World Conference at United Nations


While some parts of the world, such as the US and Japan have embraced biotechnology, other areas and markets have continued to express reservations. In the meantime, people are dying from hunger and disease all over the world.


For this reason, the Congress of Racial Equality, which has consultative NGO status with the United Nations, decided to co-sponsor, along with the Economic and Social Council of the UN (ECOSOC), an all day conference to examine all sides of this hot issue.


Ambassador Aminu Wali, the Permanent Representative to the U.N. from Nigeria agreed to host this important event as part of a 2-day celebration of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Holiday.


The Conference was held on Tuesday, January 18, 2005, and was a huge success. More that 800 people, including several students from some of the city’s top science orientated high schools, jammed the Trusteeship Council Chambers at the UN headquarters on 1st Avenue.


World renowned experts in the areas of agriculture, GM foods and other biotech sciences debated the pros and cons of the issue


Program participants included:


Dr.  Decio Ripandelli, Deputy Director-General, ICGEB;  Mr. Clive James - Chairman, Board of Directors ISAAA; H.E. Mr. Mohd Isa Rastam – Ambassador, Malasia; H.E. Bruno van der Pluijm – Ambassador, Belgium; Dr. Herb London - President, Hudson Institute; Deroy Murdock – Columnist; Dr. Sujatha Sankula - Director of Biotechnology,  National Center of Food & Agricultural Policy;   Dr. Carl Pray – Professor, Rutgers University Dept. of Agricultural, Food & Resource Economics; Dr. Richard Bennett - Univ. of Reading, Department of Agriculture & Food Economics; Dr. Stephen Morse, Berkshire, UK; Ms. Florence Chenoweth, Director, Food & Agricultural Organizations (FAO) UN;  H.E. Mr. Baki Ilkin – Ambassador, Turkey; Dr. Stewart Firestein, Columbia University, Bio-Sciences;


Dr. Don McKenzie - Executive VP, Agriculture -Biotechnology Strategies, Canada; Dr. Bruce Chassy - Dean, Food Safety, Regulatory Systems, Univer. of Illinois; Nicholass   Kalaitzandonakes - Professor, Agribusiness & Director, Economics & Management of Agrobiotechnology Center, University of Missouri; Mr. Jacques Coicaud - Director,  United Nations University; Dr. Paul B. Thompson – Professor, Agricultural Ethics, Michigan State University;  Dr. Albert Ayen - Professor, Rutgers University;


Mr. Earnest Larry;   Mr. Chengal Peddireddy Reddy Chairman, Indian Federation of Farmers, Hyderabad, India; Professor Ruth K. Oniang’o - Founder, Rural Outreach Program and Editor-in-Chief, African Journal of Food, Nutrition  and Development; H.E. Mr. S. Hackett – Ambassador, Barbados;  H.E. Irena Zubcevic – Ambassador, Croatia; Dr. Bob Goldberg,  Manhattan Institute for Policy Research; Dr.  Gary Comstock – Executive VP, AGBIOS, Canada;  Mr. Harald Schmidt - Director, Nuffield Council on Biotechnology, London, UK; Mr. Youssef  Sabri - Deputy Director, UNIDO; H.E. Teruneh Zenna – Ambassador, Ethiopia;  


H.E. Jose Briz – Ambassador, Guatamala; Julian Morris Director, International Policy Network; Mr. Orobola Fasehun - Director, WIPO; Ed Vasallo, Esq - Intellectual Properties Attorney, Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.


Sessions dealt with the adoption, ethics, regulations, impact andproperty rights aspects of the use of biotechnology to enhance the production of food in third world countries.


For information on this and future conferences, Call: (212) 598-4000


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