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Transgenic Plants for Food Security in the Context of Development
Proceedings of a Study Week invited by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Vatican City, May 15-19, 2009
by Prof. Dr. emeritus Ingo Potrykus and Prof. Dr. emeritus Klaus Ammann
30-November-2010 Pontifical Academy of Sciences

A joint publication of the invited participants of the Study Week as an open source Volume 27,5, 2010 NEW BIOTECHNOLGY, Elsevier and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences


Food security – sufficient nutritious food at all times to live a healthy and productive life – is one of the prime challenges for mankind. On the background of the public debate about the potential contribution from transgenic plants and the interest of the Vatican in this challenge, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences was inviting an interdisciplinary group of independent public sector scientists, known for their scientific rigor and their engagement in social justice, to analyze the peer-reviewed state of science about transgenic plants and to explore the conditions under which the obvious potential of this technology could be made available in a better way for public good and the poor.

The participants agreed at the conclusion of the meeting a) upon a ‚statement’ summarizing the results and giving recommendations, and b) upon an embargo until the Proceedings would be published, link below. When the embargo lifts on 30.November 2010. participants will be free to share information about the meeting with the press. Email-addresses of participants in their contributions and in the participant’s address list, hinting to their native languages for putative interviews.

The structure of the workshop contributions should guarantee a broad view on all aspects of modern agriculture:

In summary, the program of the study week was designed (a) to present the potential of plant genetic engineering to contribute to food security, (b) to analyze the causes for the obvious exclusion of the public sector and projects from the delivery of public goods and (c) to develop concepts how to improve the situation to the benefit of the poor. The participants represented a wide and interdisciplinary range of scientific disciplines including philosophy, theology, political science, economy, agricultural law, agricultural economics, development economics, intellectual property rights, botany, ecology, plant pathology, evolution, botany, microbiology, agriculture, crop science, biochemistry, molecular biology, biotechnology, food safety, biosafety, and regulation.

Against this background the program of the study week was organized into the following sections, see

About the organizers and participants:
Prof. Dr. em. Ingo Potrykus was the organizer of the study week; Mons. Prof. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo , Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences was inviting the 41 participants to Vatican City. Prof. Dr. em. Klaus Ammann was the editor of the proceedings, together with Prof. em. Ingo Potrykus

List of participants including email addresses of the contributors:

The program and scientific contributions of the Study Week
Program of the May 2009 meeting with abstracts, invitation by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Full bibliography of the volume (including open source links) of published papers and statements:

It must be understood, that statements by the participants regarding the event do not constitute the opinion of the Vatican or the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The official information, beyond any interview, is laid out in the English version of the ‚Statement’ agreed upon unanimously by all participants and available in additional 15 world languages.

Statement of the Study Week agreed upon by the Participants
The original English statement:

All 16 Languages of the Statement:

About the History of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from the Website of the Vatican


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