UC Riverside to convene conference on genetically modified organisms, Oct. 14-17, 2003

Conferees will outline a broad-ranging, visionary approach to the practical applications of biotechnologyRIVERSIDE, Calif. -- (www.ucr.edu) -- While discoveries in biotechnology offer tremendous potential, uncertainty over the environmental, social, ethical, legal, economic, and cultural consequences of these new technologies persists. This and other related issues will be the focus of a conference convened by the Biotechnology Impacts Center of the University of California, Riverside from Oct. 14 through Oct. 17, 2003 at the Mission Inn, Riverside, Calif.

The conference -- "GMOs in 2030: Reaping the Promise While Leaping the Pitfalls?" -- is organized by Norman C. Ellstrand, Professor of Genetics and Director of the Biotechnology Impacts Center, Richard Sutch, Distinguished Professor of Economics, and Christopher Chase-Dunn, Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Some of the world's leading thinkers on the environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) will attend the conference and take a broad-ranging, visionary approach to the practical applications of biotechnology.

A GMO is an organism, such as a plant, produced from genetic engineering techniques that allow the transfer of functional genes from one organism to another, including from one species to another. Bacteria, fungi, viruses, plants, insects, fish, and mammals are some examples of organisms the genetic material of which has been artificially modified in order to change some physical property or capability.

"The objective of the conference is to take a visionary and mindful approach to the use of GMOs for the benefit of humankind and the environment by identifying principles and protocols that will serve as a framework for a civilized, respectful and informed dialogue on the myriad issues facing society in t

Contact: Iqbal Pittalwala
University of California - Riverside

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