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09KYIV2184, EMBASSY KYIV PROPOSED BIOTECH OUTREACH STRATEGY

December 22, 2009

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09KYIV2184 2009-12-22 14:47 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Kyiv

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKV #2184/01 3561447
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 221447Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY KYIV
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9019
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC

UNCLAS KYIV 002184 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT - JACK BOBO AND MARCELLA SZYMANSKI 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EAGR TBIO ETRD EAID UP
 
SUBJECT: EMBASSY KYIV PROPOSED BIOTECH OUTREACH STRATEGY 
 
REFS: A. STATE 122732  B. Kyiv 2018 
 
 
1. (U) Summary.  Embassy Kyiv requests $9,509.00 for public outreach 
activities to promote a science-based discussion of agricultural 
biotechnology in Ukraine.  Given wide-spread negative attitudes 
towards the use of biotechnology and legislative efforts to restrict 
its applications in Ukraine, Embassy Kyiv proposes further 
engagement of policymakers, scientists, and journalists.  Building 
on our program in 2009 (ref B), Post plans to organize a speaker 
program that would include conferences, workshops, and media 
outreach in Kyiv, Poltava, and Odesa.  End summary. 
 
Ukrainian Attitudes towards Biotechnology 
----------------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) Public opinion about agricultural biotechnology in Ukraine is 
almost unanimously negative, resulting from persistent knowledge 
gaps and negative information campaigns.  Concerns about the quality 
and long-term health implications of products produced with 
biotechnology have not been adequately addressed by government 
regulators, scientific researchers, or the media.  Moreover, 
Ukrainian legislators have recently crafted new legislation that, if 
adopted, would institute a complete ban on importation and domestic 
production of biotech materials in Ukraine. 
 
Proposed Activities 
------------------- 
 
3. (U) In light of the negative attitudes toward biotechnology in 
Ukraine and pending legislation to restrict its use, Post proposes 
to invite an American speaker to Ukraine to participate in a 
conference dedicated to the safety of biotechnologically produced 
food products.  The speaker would also conduct guest lectures, town 
hall meetings, and press events.  Ideally, s/he would possess 
expertise in human health, genetics, environmental science, plant 
varieties, and global market trends. 
 
4. (U) Post envisions a five-day program, anchored by a conference 
on the safety of agricultural biotechnology in Kyiv.  Other events 
would include guest lectures at local universities, town hall 
meetings, and press events and would be held in Kyiv, central 
Ukraine (Poltava) and southwestern Ukraine (Odesa).  [Note: Dr. 
Yaroslav Blume, a renowned Ukrainian agricultural biotechnology 
expert proposed Dr. Nina Fedoroff, the Science and Technology 
Advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State, as a speaker at a conference 
on the safety of biotech food products.  Post believes that Dr. 
Fedoroff would be an ideal participant in the outreach program.] 
 
5. (U) The proposed program would have three focus audiences: 
 
a. The science community represented by students and faculty of 
local research institutes and universities.  Past biotech outreach 
programs have shown the scientific community most receptive to the 
concept of biotechnology and interested in science-based discussion. 
 It is important to foster attitudes which support science-based 
approaches within this community.  The National Agricultural 
University (NAU), with a main campus in Kyiv and satellite campuses 
across Ukraine, has indicated its willingness to host events. 
 
b. The journalistic community.  Media coverage of biotechnology is 
generally negative, reflecting the lack of knowledge of the subject 
and dearth of available information.  Press events, possibly 
including exclusive TV interviews, press conferences, and workshops 
for journalists, could aid in educating local journalists about the 
science of agricultural biotechnology. 
 
c. Policy makers.  Despite their overall negative attitude, it is 
important to continue engaging Ukrainian policy makers.  Ukrainian 
legislators have recently crafted new legislation that, if adopted, 
would institute a complete ban on importation and domestic 
production of biotech materials in Ukraine.  The legislation has 
been passed by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) and awaits the 
signature of the President to be adopted into law. 
 
Proposed Budget 
--------------- 
 
6. (U) Post estimates the following costs, in USD: 
 
3,000.00  Roundtrip Airfare, US to Kyiv, Ukraine 
300.00  Roundtrip Airfare to Odesa 
720.00  Lodging, Kyiv (3 x 240/night) 
420.00  Lodging, Other (3 x 140/night) 
378.00  M&IE, Kyiv (3 x 126/day) 
291.00  M&IE, Other (3 x 97/day) 
1000.00  Ground Transportation (within Kyiv, Poltava, and Odesa; 
airport transfers, roundtrip transportation from Kyiv to Poltava) 
1,400.00  Honorarium for the Speaker 
1,500.00  Simultaneous Interpretation 
500.00  Interpreter Travel Expenses 
-------- 
$9509.00  TOTAL PROPOSED BUDGET 
 
 
7. (U) Post Point of Contact: 
 
Ladislav Beranek 
Economic Analyst 
U.S. Embassy, Kyiv 
Tel. +380.44.490.4031 
Fax +380.44.490.4277 
beranekl(at)state.gov 
 
 
8. (U) Post wishes to thank EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT staff for its ongoing 
support of Embassy Kyiv's biotechnology promotion efforts.

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