Contact: DJ Nordquist/Pew Initiative on Food and BiotechnologyOffice: 202-347-9044 ext 246202-347-9132 (direct)

Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology To Conduct National Policy ForumTrade, Cultural and Economic Issues Regarding Genetically Modified Food To Be Discussed

Washington, D.C. (October 11, 2001) -- The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology announced today that it is hosting a policy dialogue, "Are the US and Europe Heading for a Food Fight Over Genetically Modified Food?" on October 24, 2001 at 9.30am at the National Press Club. David Gergen, counsel to four presidents and author, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership from Nixon to Clinton will moderate the lively discussion with senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the European Community.

"We hope to stimulate a informative discussion about the political, economic and cultural differences that have led the European Union and the United States to adopt such divergent approaches to the regulation of genetically modified crops and food," said Michael Rodemeyer, executive director of the Initiative. "Recent EU proposals to require labeling and traceability of genetically modified crops and food have created uncertainty for the international trading system and raised concerns in the US business community. The dialogue will also examine the cultural roots of this food debate, and additionally ask how American farmers are affected by European attitudes about genetically modified food. We hope the Initiative's participation will help frame the international debate and help put it in a deeper context," Rodemeyer concluded.

Panelists include:

-- David Hegwood, Trade Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture -- Julia A. Moore, a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who has written and spoken extensively about consumer attitudes in the US and in Europe toward biotechnology-- Tony Van der haegen, Minister/Counselor for Agriculture, Fisheries and Consumer Affairs, the European Commission Delegation -- Fred Yoder, president-elect of the National Corn Growers Association, who will discuss how the EU proposal would affect American farmers

The Policy Forum will take place in the Murrow Room of the National Press Club. Note: The dialogue will be presented via a live Internet webcast. Members of the media can submit questions just prior to and during the event. To watch or submit questions go to or To register, please contact DJ Nordquist at (202) 347-9132 or via email at [email protected]

The Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research project whose goal is to inform the public and policymakers on issues about genetically modified food and agricultural biotechnology, including its importance, as well as concerns about it and its regulation. It is funded by a grant from The Pew Charitable Trusts to the University of Richmond.