Agribusiness lobbying in Brussels involves biotech, food, animal feed, agrofuel and pesticide producers targeting decision makers to weaken regulations or to get subsidies.
CEO’s work on agribusiness lobbying has focused on stopping the EU’s 10% agrofuel target, exposing lobbying by the food industry to weaken food labeling, and by the animal feed industry to weaken GMO rules, questioning the industry bias of EU food safety agency EFSA, and highlighting how private industry-NGO initiatives like the Round Table on Responsible Soy provide a greenwashing opportunity for the GMO industry. We have also filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman about the industry-dominated European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBFTP), which advises the European Commission on how to spend millions of research funding to further develop agrofuels.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for assessing and communicating food safety in the European Union, for everything from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to pesticides. However EFSA has recently been criticised because its scientific assessments of new GM crops and pesticides rely almost exclusively on corporate research data. Some EFSA experts have also been accused of being too close to the food and drink industry .
A recent draft Commission proposal to change the legislation governing genetically modified (GM) foods and feeds has revealed that the Commission is giving in to a long-standing combined demand from the biotech, food and animal feed industry to break down the so-called ‘zero-tolerance policy’ regarding contamination with non-authorised GM food and feed.
Leading French researcher on the impacts of GMOs Gilles-Eric Séralini has won the court case against Marc Fellous of the Association Française des Biotechnologies Végétales (AFBV) for libel. Fellous was convicted to the symbolic fine of 1 euro for damages. Many people showed up on 17 January in front of the court in Paris. Corinne Lepage, MEP, said “When a whistleblower moves from the defensive to the offensive, this is now bearing its fruits.”
Campaigners have today written to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission challenging the appointment of an industry expert to the public body. The official complaint argues that a senior figure and expert in risk communication should not have been appointed to the agency because of her close links to industry .
Public relations expertise developed by a food-and-drink-industry-funded think tank seems to be being promoted by the European Union’s food safety agency, following the appointment of a food industry insider. The PR strategy on dealing with risks has even been included in official guidelines. Recent cases of former Commissioners going through the revolving doors into lobbying jobs have raised questions about conflicts of interest.
Industry “experts” are undermining an EU review of the regulations of pesticides and putting Europe’s bee population further at risk, according to new research from the European Beekeeping Coordination and Corporate Europe Observatory published today (Tuesday) .
The report comes ahead of a vote by MEPs (23rd – 24th November) on a resolution requiring independent research into bee mortality and a revision of EU rules governing risk assessments of bees' exposure to pesticides .
The Farmers Biotech Network GM Food tasting event,reported on by Corporate Europe Observatory recently, was not paid for by the farmers network, CEO has learned, but by EuropaBio.
Corporate Europe Observatory
Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) is a research and campaign group working to expose and challenge the privileged access and influence enjoyed by corporations and their lobby groups in EU policy making.