Anne Glover, the chief scientific adviser to the European commission, and other prominent pro-GM researchers and policymakers from European countries including
The British environment secretary,
According to an Easac spokeswoman, the meeting is intended to help EU and African scientists collaborate to allow the crops to be grown more easily on the continent. "EU policy on GM crops is massively important for
Critics, however, said the meeting was a thinly disguised attempt to promote GM farming at a governmental level, whether or not it was good for local farmers.
"The meeting has the appearance of giving the European stamp of approval on GM crops, even though the majority of EU citizens oppose GM in food," said a spokeswoman for GM Watch, a
The talks take place as industry data shows the planting of GM crops has practically halted in the US and as G8 countries, led by the US and
According to the International Service for the Acquisition of
Annual figures from Isaaa show that US farmers planted 70.1m hectares (173m acres) of GM crops in 2013, less than 1% more than in 2011 and 2012. Latin American and Asian farmers grow more than half of the world's GM crops, mostly for animal feed or cotton production.
The latest figures show that 77% of the world's GM crops are grown in three countries – 40% in the US, 23% in
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