GMOs role in trade disputes focus of talks

“The Role of GMOs in Trade Disputes,” a conference that will focus on genetically modified organisms and how their use can result in trade barriers, is scheduled Oct. 30-31 at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio.

The conference will address many of the production, marketing and trade issues surrounding the continued introduction of genetically modified organisms into agricultural production. Many nationally-renowned economists are on the agenda, said Parr Rosson, director for the Center for North American Studies, which is co-sponsoring the event.

“Those attending the conference will get an understanding of how trade in GMOs may occur under rules developed by the World Trade Organization,” Rosson said. “We will also identify potential market opportunities for GMOs, as well as discuss the challenges and opportunities likely to emerge if the European Union does not open its market to crops using new genetically modified technology.”

Other discussions include:

  • Why are some U.S. wheat farmers opposed to GMO wheat? Would non-GMO producers lose more than what GMO producers would gain due to cross-contamination? Why has there been reluctance by Canada to introduce GMO wheat, when the acceptance of GMO canola is increasing?
  • There has been a significant increase in productivity brought about by the Green Revolution. Will the new “Gene Revolution” have similar results?
  • Malnutrition remains a significant problem in less-developed countries. Some argue that GMOs are the solution to the malnutrition problem but others disagree.
  • Those who oppose the adoption of GMOs argue that overall they do not result in an increase in producer profitability nor add to food quality. However, there are cases in which food quality can be significantly enhanced through GMOs. These and other pressing issues will be discussed during the event.

The conference begins Oct. 30 with breakfast and ends at noon on Oct. 31. Registration is $225. The registration includes Thursday and Friday meals, breaks and conference materials. Room rates are $91/single plus tax and $101/double plus tax.

To register and for more information, click on

For other questions, call Flynn Adcock, economist at the Center for North American Studies, at (979) 845-7277.

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