US embassy cable - 02ROME3433

ITALY COMMITS ITSELF TO RESEARCH COOPERATION IN AGRICULTURE BIOTECHNOLOGY

Identifier: 02ROME3433
Wikileaks: View 02ROME3433 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Rome
Created: 2002-07-11 14:46:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: SENV ETRD TBIO EAGR EAID IT FAO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS ROME 003433 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR OES PDAS ROCK 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 02        ROME  03433  111441Z 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: SENV, ETRD, TBIO, EAGR, EAID, IT, FAO 
SUBJECT:  ITALY COMMITS ITSELF TO RESEARCH COOPERATION IN 
AGRICULTURE BIOTECHNOLOGY 
 
REFS: A) ROME 1965  B) ROME 2999 C) ROCK-MULENEX TELCOM JULY 
 
01 
 
1.  THIS IS AN ACTION REQUEST, SEEKING OES RESPONSE TO REFS 
A AND B.  SEE PARAGRAPH 4. 
 
2.  EMBASSY PROVIDES INFORMAL TRANSLATION OF A LETTER SENT 
TO ESTCOUNS FROM ANTONIO CATRICALA, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE 
PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS.  THE LETTER IS DATED 
JUNE 24 BUT WAS RECEIVED ON JULY 1. 
 
BEGINNING OF INFORMAL EMBASSY TRANSLATION: 
 
IN REFERENCE TO YOUR LETTER TO U/S LETTA SENT ON APRIL 18 
AND SIGNED ALSO BY PROF. LEONARDO SANTI, I CAN CONFIRM, ALSO 
WITH U/S LETTA'S APPROVAL, THE INTEREST AND COMMITMENT OF 
THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT FOR A FRUITFUL COOPERATION WITH THE 
U.S. ON BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH. 
 
I REVIEWED THE PROPOSED TOPICS AND BELIEVE THAT THE AGREED 
ISSUES COULD REPRESENT CONCRETE INITIATIVES. 
 
IN THE BIOTECHNOLOGY FIELD, THE PRESIDENCY OF THE COUNCIL OF 
MINISTERS IS SUPPORTING A DEVELOPING PLAN, WHICH WILL BE 
CARRIED OUT BY A WORKING GROUP WITHIN THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE 
FOR BIOSAFETY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY.  THE WORKING GROUP WILL 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 03        ROME  03433  111441Z 
INCLUDE THE PRESIDENCY, THE INTERESTED MINISTRIES, THE 
REGIONS AND THE COMPANY SVILUPPO ITALIA (ITALIAN 
DEVELOPMENT). 
THE PROGRAM WILL HAVE TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION, IN A 
PRIORITY WAY, THE NATIONAL AND EUROPEAN NEEDS, BUT IT SHOULD 
ALSO EVALUATE, IN AN HARMONIC WAY, THE INDISPENSABLE TOOLS 
FOR THE WHOLE DEVELOPMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY INCLUDING THOSE 
SUBJECTS MENTIONED IN YOUR LETTER. 
WITHIN THE PRIORITIES TO BE CONSIDERED: 
-THE FIGHT AGAINST BIOTERRORISM 
-ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION TECHNOLOGIES 
-BIOTECHNOLOGY CONTRIBUTION TO FOOD QUALITY 
-BUILDING DEVELOPING WORLD CAPACITY TO EVALUATE 
BIOTECHNOLOGIES. 
I BELIEVE THAT THE ACTIVE U.S.-ITALY COOPERATION COULD 
CONTRIBUTE TO REACHING THE COMMON OBJECTIVES OF OUR TWO 
COUNTRIES.  WISHING YOU A GOOD WORK, I SEND YOU MY BEST 
REGARDS. 
 
END OF EMBASSY INFORMAL TRANSLATION. 
 
3.  COMMENT:  THE LETTER, COMING FROM THE PRIME MINISTER'S 
OFFICE, IS FORMAL GOI APPROVAL FOR BILATERAL COOPERATION ON 
BIOTECHNOLOGY. THE LETTER REFLECTS A DECISION WITHIN THE 
PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE TO USE SCIENCE AS A LEVER TO CREATE 
MORE ROOM FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY OPTIONS, ESPECIALLY WITH REGARD 
TO THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE'S POSITION AGAINST 
COMMERCIALIZATION OF AGROBIOTECHNOLOGY.  AS REPORTED IN REF 
A, THE GOI HAS ALREADY NAMED EXPERTS (31 IN TOTAL) FOR EACH 
OF TEN SUBJECT AREAS OF MUTUAL INTEREST AND PROPOSED A 
BILATERAL EXPERTS MEETING ON AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY TO 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
PAGE 04        ROME  03433  111441Z 
BE HELD LATER THIS YEAR.  WE BELIEVE THIS IS THE CORRECT, 
NEXT STEP IN OUR EFFORT TO RAISE THE BAR ON THE QUALITY OF 
SCIENCE NEEDED TO UNDERPIN ITALIAN POLICY ON BIOTECHNOLOGY. 
 
4.  ACTION REQUEST:  EMBASSY ASKS OES APPROVAL OF THE 
BILATERAL COOPERATION CONCEPT.  SECOND, WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT 
FOR AN INTERAGENCY EXPERTS MEETING IN THE FALL IN ORDER TO 
EXPLORE SPECIFIC AREAS FOR COOPERATION.  SPECIFICALLY WE 
ENVISION BIOTERRORISM AND PLANT VACCINES; ENVIRONMENTAL 
REMEDIATION; AGRICULTURE BIOTECHNOLOGY AND FOOD QUALITY; 
RENEWABLE INDUSTRIAL FOOD SAFETY; NANOBIOTECHNOLOGY; AND 
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES USE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY.  PRIOR TO THE 
MEETING, WE WILL NEED TO DECIDE WHETHER THE ACTIVITIES ARE 
ADEQUATELY COVERED UNDER THE EXISTING SANDT AGREEMENT AND 
ITS ANNEXES, OR WHETHER A NEW ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENT, 
E.G. LIKE THAT OF THE U.S.-EU BIOTECH TASK FORCE, WILL BE 
MOST EFFECTIVE.  END OF ACTION REQUEST. 
SEMBLER 
 
                       UNCLASSIFIED 
 
> 
 2002ROME03433 - Classification: UNCLASSIFIED 


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