on the General Session of the Union Of European Academies For Science To Agriculture, Food And Nature (UEAA)
Cooperation among European agricultural academies and greater cooperation in the formulation of national and European agricultural policy were among the themes of the 8th General Session of the UEAA. This session, which was organized by the Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAZV), took place on 18 and 19 September in Prague in the House of Agricultural Education in the historical building of the agriculture and food library on Slezská St. in Prague. The session was held under the aegis of Minister of Agriculture Marián Jurecka. At the beginning of the session, deputy minister of agriculture Jindrich Šnejdrla greeted the participants on behalf of the minister. The 8th General Session was attended by representatives of 13 countries. Discussions included EU policy and current issues of applied agricultural research in Europe, as well as the unfavourable status of this field in many countries, and a number of common problems. During the session, new member countries were also accepted – academies in Slovakia, Georgia, and Great Britain.
Another important point of the UEAA session was the election of a new presiding country, the Czech Republic, represented by CAZV. The vice-presidency shall be occupied by France, represented by the French Academy of Agriculture.
The session also included a technical seminar on GMO as a somewhat controversial subject. Because of the differing approaches of individual countries, participants were unable to come to adopt a common position, but nevertheless supported the CAZV’s declaration on this issue, emphasized the importance of further research, and called for a re-evaluation of the extremely restrictive legislation of the EU as a whole as well as in individual countries. They noted that although its use is strictly regulated in all EU countries and in some entirely prohibited, at the same time vast quantities of commodities produced with GM crops are imported, which are then used in the food industry and feed production (see the CAZV’s position on this issue).
On the second day, there was an excursion to the Crop Research Institute in Prague 6 – Ruzyne(the national reference laboratory for GMO) and to the farm of the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, located in Lány.
Prague, 25 September 2014