Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) Forum, impact and current status in the region

Since the first commercial transgenic crop was released in the mid-1990s, an accelerated growth in the arable areas of GM crops worldwide occurs. The Constitution of Ecuador from 2008 states that transgenic seeds and crops are forbidden to be imported, and it is the only country in South America that prohibits commercial transgenic crops in its Constitution. Ten years later, the debate continues. On one hand, transgenic crops are prohibited, but at the same time the sale of GM foods is authorized. Therefore, considering that in the South American region: i) almost all the countries are cultivating GM crops, ii) the second and third largest cultivators of GM crops are located (Brazil and Argentina), and iii) that Ecuador shares a border with Colombia, which is a country that in 2017 planted transgenic crops in 24 departments. This forum will be an excellent discussion space to address this controversial issue for the country.

The forum of GMOs will gather researchers of international prestige that will address issues related to biosafety and regulations of GMOs. More specifically, the topics include: i) advantages or disadvantages of the implementation of GMOs, ii) physiological aspects relevant to the risk assessment of genetically modified crops, iii) the current status of GMOs in the region, and iv) the regulations in force in Ecuador related to GMOs.