Minutes of the meeting of the Working Group
"Herbicide Tolerant Varieties"
Samsun - Turkey, 23rd June 2013

Ivo Brants, Jan Petersen

These Minutes are also available as a pdf file (301 Kb)

The EWRS Working Group "Herbicide Tolerant (HT) Varieties" did gather formally for a workshop on 23rd of July, 2013 in Samsun (Turkey), preceding the 16th EWRS symposium.

The meeting was attended by 15 participants and several people indicated intention to participate but could not make it for logistic reasons to this Sunday workshop.

The workshop started with a feedback from the SciCom meeting (held on Saturday 22nd July) where the WG HT varieties was allowed to present its general activities for the next 2 years. The presented activities (see first attachment, 419 KB) included

It was indicated that the next workshop will likely be in May, 2014 (Germany) and it is proposed to become attached to the workshop under development by the WG herbicide resistant weeds. In agreement with other WG's it was indicated during the SciCom meeting that members of the WG should be stimulated to write more peer reviewed publications (Weed Research) based upon WG activities.

One objective of the workshop was to seek for potential synergism with other WG‟s and we were pleased to see our meeting to be attended by some members of the WG Optimisation of herbicide use and WG Herbicide resistant weeds. An introduction of general activities of the WG Optimisation of herbicide use (Per Kudsk, presentation attached, 390 KB) and the WG Herbicide resistant weeds (Paul Neve, presentation attached, 289 KB) were provided. These two presentations opened views on potential joined activities.

Next on the agenda were three specific HT varieties informative session. The first topic introduced was titled "Glyphosate tolerant Lolium perenne as commercial crop for golf greens" (J. Costa, presentation attached, 2.5 MB). The potential risks associated with this introduction in the context of IWM of glyphosate resistant Lolium spp. were highlighted during the discussion period. The second informative presentation was given by R. Hains (presentation attached, 2.4 MB) on the status, timelines and benefits of "ALS-inhibitor-Tolerance in Sugar Beet". The ALS active components for this HT variety system include a mixture of foramsulfuron and thiencarbazone-methyl. Commercial introduction was presented in the timeframe of 2017 to 2020. The third presentation "Experience and Perspectives with CLEARFIELD™® Herbicide Systems" (M. Pfenning, presentation attached, 1.5 MB) provided a view on the history of Clearfield™ varieties (tolerant to imidazolinone herbicides), the commercialization of Clearfield™ varieties, the benefits of Clearfield™ cropping systems(examples); the risks and watch outs (Stewardship) as well as the perspectives. This last informative topic was to introduce the WG discussions to prioritize the activities for HT sunflower which was elected at the Bingen meeting (November 2012) to be the first case study.

The first activities for the HT sunflower case study to be worked on were defined as

- IWM including economic impacts and impact on cropping systems (contact point to join this task is Matthias Phenning);

- management of herbicide resistant weeds resulting from these HT varieties (contact point to join this task are Matthias Phenning and Paul Neve);

- the use of HT sunflower cropping systems as management tool for other resistant weeds in the rotational systems (contact point to join this task is Paul Neve)

- the need/no need for specific regulation/stewardship programmes as related to HT sunflower (contact point to join this task is Ivo Brants)



It was agreed that relevant position papers will be generated on the different topics. The members also agreed that outreach of our positions to farming communities should be considered as it allows to communicate benefits as well as proposed management solutions for identified issues. It was decided to create small working groups around the diverse topics and these groups will inform the WG regular on progress made.

It was mentioned at the SciCom meeting that EFSA has approached EWRS to work together on some aspects of impact of GM varieties. The present members agreed that the WG HT varietes should participate in such an action and that priorities could be changed to meet requirements. A presentation by EFSA (Feb 2013) "Protection goals and the evaluation of potential adverse effects of altered cropping and management practices associated with GMHT crop cultivation – an EFSA GMO Panel perspective" is attached as background information (1 MB).

More information on the future WG HT varieties workshop to be held in May 2014 in Germany will be communicated as it becomes available.