Public debates / Stakeholder activities

Public debate and stakeholder opinions

Until recently, public debate on co-existence hardly has existed in Slovenia. The topic was discussed primarily at conferences such as the co-existence workshop hosted in July 2005 by the Agricultural Institute of Slovenia in cooperation with EuropaBio. On 6 October 2005, the Agricultural Co-existence Conference was hosted by the embassy of the USA in Slovenia. In 2006, public debate intensified following the draft publication of the act on co-existence of genetically modified plants with other crops.

Positions on co-existence

Government

The Slovenian government has not stated its position on co-existence.

Political parties

The political party Zares organised a conference on GMOs. Due to the expectation of a parliamentary hearing on the Act on the co-existence of genetically modified plants with other agricultural plants, co-existence also was one of the main topics of the conference. Many organic farmers who were present at the event expressed strong opposition to GMOs and to co-existence.

Farmers

In 2004, organic farmers called for legislation on co-existence. In addition, they state a lack of belief in the actual possibility of co-existence and, consequently, propose the establishment of GMO-free regions. During public debate on the draft Act in 2006, the initiatives for GMO-free regions displayed an increase in strength.

Initiatives against GMOs

Several initiatives are aimed against the planting of GMOs in Slovenia. Together with organic farmers from Austria and Italy, the association of Slovenian organic farmers has formed an group known as Bio Alpe Adria. The group intends to establish a GMO-free zone that consists of parts of Austria and of Italy as well as all of Slovenia.

The former Slovenian president, Dr. Janez Drnovšek, has established the association 'Gibanje za Pravičnost' in Razvoj. On the Internet pages of the association, some opinions are published against the use of GMOs and against co-existence.

On 22 April 2007, the Institute for Sustainable Development initiated a campaign for the establishment of GMO-free regions and communities. By the end of 2007, more than 70 communities had declared themselves as GMO-free. The main aims of the campaign are the stimulation of general debate on the use of GMOs in agriculture, the augmentation of public awareness of the issue, and the obligation of politicians and the government towards transparency with regard to the use and cultivation of GMOs.




Regional Co-extra reporter /rapporteur:
  • Dr. Mojca Milavec
    National institute of biology, Department of biotechnology and systems biology
    Vecna pot 111, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Website: http://www.nib.si/en/
    Email: Mojca.Milavec@nib.si
    Phone: +386 1 42 33 388
    Fax: +386 1 25 73 847


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