About 600 participants from over 70 Countries worldwide attended the 1st Global Conference on GMO Analysis held on 24-27 June 2008 at Villa Erba in Cernobbio (Como, Italy) where the most recent developments in GMO detection and labelling were discussed. For the first time, the GMO detection community had a global platform for scientific exchange and the chance to strengthen collaboration among laboratories from all over the world. The Scientific Programme, defined by a Scientific Organising Committee comprising 16 worldwide recognised GMO experts, consisted of three main themes related to GMO Analysis, from sampling to the interpretation of the final results. Besides the oral presentations, about 180 posters presenting the latest developments in GMO analysis were displayed and intensively discussed. In addition, all participants had the chance to take part in a ‘Discussion forum on biotechnology products related to testing’ addressing the potential impact of GMOs on trade and their economic implications.
At the end of the Conference the Joint Research Centre organised a Workshop on ‘Enlargement, Integration and International Collaboration’, which was attended by over 100 participants from the new Member States, the Candidate and Potential Candidate Countries, the European Neighbourhood Policy Partner Countries as well as by experts from other Countries. The workshop constituted the basis towards the formulation of the “Enlargement, International Collaboration and Capacity Building Project” which aims at responding to the overall growing need for enhanced harmonisation of means and methods in GMO analysis.