World experts will discuss the pros and cons of GM food.World experts will discuss the pros and cons of GM food.

International trends in sustainable food production will be discussed by a line-up of global experts visiting Hawke's Bay next week.

The five academics, along with a top Swiss chef, will speak about issues including the European and Chinese markets for quality foods, the health impacts of genetically-modified organisms in food production, and the use of glyphosate herbicide.

Their presentations, in Havelock North next Monday and Tuesday, will follow this weekend's Food Matter Aotearoa Conference in Wellington.

The Wellington conference looks at questions such as how nutritious our food is, and whether New Zealand should embrace genetically-modified food production.

Participants travelling up to Hawke's Bay to speak after the conference include US Defence Department biosecurity threat specialist Don Huber, a professor of plant nutrition and microbiology, Vandana Shiva, an Indian professor of physics who founded Navdanya, an organisation of 70,000 farmers aimed at protecting the diversity of living resources such as traditional seeds, and French molecular biologist Dr Gilles-Eric Seralini who has conducted the only long-term study thus far on the effects of genetically engineered foods and associated pesticides on animals.

Also speaking in Havelock North will be Chinese Professor Gu Xiulin who lectures in agricultural economics and globalisation, and Swiss chef Jerome Douzelet.

Event organiser Phyllis Tichinin said all the speakers were talking on topics Hawke's Bay food producers and marketers would benefit from considering, including what do the high-end consumers really want and can we produce it?

"It is unusual to have one professor of such world standing visit Hawke's Bay with this timely information. It is an unrepeatable opportunity to have four of them at once," she said. "I encourage everyone who eats to come listen to these world luminaries. Details of the speaking tour can be found at

Hawkes Bay Today