Cablegate: Prague: Successful Biotechnology Conference And
DE RUEHPG #1063 2571420
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141420Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9615
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC PRIORITY
UNCLAS PRAGUE 001063
STATE FOR EEB/TTP/ABT
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAGR ECON ETRD EZ
SUBJECT: PRAGUE: SUCCESSFUL BIOTECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE AND
REF: A. PRAGUE 78
B. STATE 81402
1. Summary: The U.S. Embassy hosted a conference and dinner
on biotechnology on September 7, 2007 with funding from EEB.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Czech Ministry of
Agriculture, drew over 70 participants from five countries,
including representatives from government, retail and food
industry, academia, as well as English and Czech press. The
capstone event was a dinner for biotechnology policy-makers
hosted by Ambassador Graber, which was a resounding success.
2. Ambassador Graber gave opening remarks at the conference,
explaining the importance of biotechnology in the United
States and the opportunities biotechnology provides to
address poverty and food security issues on a global scale.
Among the seven panel speakers were Mr. Fred Yoder, a farmer
from the United States (Ohio), and Professor Richard Phipps
from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Mr.
Yoder also appeared on the popular morning talk show "Dobre
Rano" with Czech Ministry of Agriculture representative
Marie Cerovska to talk about the benefits of biotechnology.
3. Attendees at the dinner included Czech Minister of
Agriculture Petr Gandalovic, Deputy Minister of Environment
Dr. Karel Blaha and Chairman of the Czech Parliament
Agriculture Committee Ladislav Skopal, along with
representatives from leading agricultural organizations.
Ambassador Graber congratulated the Czech Republic on its
leadership role in agricultural biotechnology in Europe and
led a discussion on current challenges and the future of
biotechnology in Europe. Minister Gandalovic was forthright
in discussing the difficulties EU membership presents with
regard to biotechnology but noted the Czech government and
parliament will continue to support a science-based approach
to biotechnology. Both government and industry
representatives expressed satisfaction with the content of
the conference and asked the Ambassador to consider hosting
such events in the future.