The Panel recognized that it would be impossible during the first session to examine the issues in sufficient depth to provide detailed advice on the sometimes rather difficult ethical issues currently arising from activities in food and agriculture. Further and more detailed work is required. The members of the Panel agreed to remain in contact between sessions. It noted that sessions had been planned to take place at intervals of no more than two years. However, if funding can be found, the Panel would already like to hold its second session in 2001, in order to maintain the momentum reached with the first session, to build on the very constructive team spirit and mutual trust that was established among the Panel members and, in particular, to deepen its examination of the ethical issues under discussion - for which there is a great urgency.
The members of the Panel will remain in contact, for example through the use of e-mail, to deepen its reflection on the issues raised as well as others that might need attention. Members have offered to prepare working papers on specific topics, including:
It was also proposed that developments in the area of proteomics (protein engineering) and their ethical ramifications for food and agriculture should be monitored (Mr Ayala).
FAO was requested to prepare an update on the status of regulations in different countries concerning the application of biotechnology and GMOs.