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Experts to debate the future of ‘Organic GMOs’ at Nordic Organic Food Fair 2019

Press release   •   Nov 06, 2019 11:18 GMT

Beyond GM, an independent initiative set up to raise awareness of issues around genetic engineering in food and farming, will host a lively panel debate about the future of organic GMOs (genetically modified organisms) at next week’s Nordic Organic Food Fair – the Nordic regions leading trade event for certified organic food and drink.

Taking place at MalmöMässan (Sweden) on 14 November at 11.30am, the panel will bring together experts Dr Odd-Gunnar Wikmark (scientist/program coordinator at GenØk Centre for Biosafety Norway); Dr Stefan Jansson (professor and head of the department of Plant Physiology at Umeå University, Sweden); and facilitators Lawrence Woodward, and Pat Thomas from Beyond GM, in an interactive discussion on whether organic GMO’s really have a role to play in the future of organic food and sustainable farming.

“The Nordic Organic Food Fair has recognised that this is an issue with potentially serious and complex implications for organic brands and certification bodies. It’s fantastic that space is being given to explore it from different perspectives,” says Pat Thomas, director, Beyond GM.

The organic sector’s debate

This hour-long panel session is both timely and necessary and will bring to light a topical discussion that is going on right now in the organic sector. It will look at the science but also the philosophical issues and explore claims that new gene editing techniques are so close to natural plant breeding that excluding them is irrational.

In Norway and Denmark – as in much of Europe – there are now calls from the biotechnology industry and researchers for the products of new gene editing techniques such as CRISPR, to be exempt from regulation in order to help farming meet sustainability goals. At the same time, a growing number of people feel that doing so brings inevitable questions about food safety and transparency – as well as potential risks to the organic market.

The panel will explore the following questions: Would farmers and the public ever accept such a change? What does it mean for the definition of organic? What are the implications for the USPs of organic brands? – and more. Expect a lively question and answer session that will have an audience vote at the end to help gauge public opinion.

For further details and the full theatre line-up, please visit

Free registration is now open

The Nordic Organic Food Fair and Eco Life Scandinavia will return to Malmö, Sweden, on Wednesday and Thursday 13-14 November. For more information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit or and use priority code PR123 (direct link:


Media enquiries & press pass requests to:
Apply for press passes here:
Sharna Waid, PR Manager
t: +44 (0)1273 645144

Exhibitor enquiries to:
Melina Viking, Event Manger
t: +44 (0)1273 645141
Website: and


High resolution photographs and logos are available to download here:

Diversified Communications UK (Diversified UK) is a fast-growing trade event organiser and publisher based in Brighton, Peterborough, Nailsworth and London. Diversified UK’s natural and organic portfolio includes Eco Life Scandinavia in Malmö, Sweden; Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö, Sweden; Eco Living Iberia in Madrid, Spain (new for 2019); Organic Food Iberia in Madrid, Spain (new for 2019); Natural & Organic Products Europe; Natural and Organic Awards; Natural Products News; and For more information, visit:

Diversified UK is part of Diversified Communications, a leading international media company with a portfolio of face-to-face exhibitions and conferences, online communities and digital and print publications. As producers of these market-leading products Diversified Communications connects, educates and strengthens business communities in over 15 industries including: food and beverage, healthcare, natural and organic, business management and technology. Established in 1949 and headquartered in Portland, Maine, USA with divisions and offices around the world, Diversified Communications remains a privately held, third generation, family-owned business. For more information, visit:

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