Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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A 10-year EFSA controversy: Time to tackle industry bias and reclaim food safety! Conference in Parma

Date: 
Monday, November 12, 2012 - 16:00

Corporate Europe Observatory, Via Campesina, the Italian GMO Task Force and FIRAB invite you to a citizens' conference on 12 November in Parma, Italy, for EFSA’s 10th anniversary, in parallel to EFSA's official celebrations. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has come under criticism over the influence of industry and the effect this has on the Authority's independence. There have even been suggestions of regulatory capture. The EU has also been criticised for the way in which it carries out risk management for GMOs as well as of various substances that end up in our food, such as pesticides and additives.

This citizens' conference will discuss the governance of EFSA and the science and expertise needed to protect public health and the environment. We hope to bring together concrete proposals and ideas for a real change in EFSA and our food system.


12 November 2012: 16.00 – 19.30
Aula Magna Economy Faculty, University of Parma, Via Kennedy, Parma, Italy

Programme

• Moderator: Prof. Gianni Tamino (Scientific Committee FIRAB, Italy)

I° session: Problems surrounding EFSA: conflicts of interest and use of industry science

Andrea Ferrante, Via Campesina Europa (Italy)
Nina Holland, Corporate Europe Observatory (Belgium)
Monica Frassoni, Co-President of the European Green Party 

II° session: Case studies

EFSA's GMO risk assessment flaws: Christoph Then, TestBiotech (Germany)
When aspartame is tested independently: Fiorella Belpoggi, Fondazione Ramazzini (Italy)

III° session: Political Roundtable: solutions for a sustainable food system and a more reliable EFSA

José Bové, Green Group of the European Parliament (France)
Jose Manuel Benitez, COAG (Spain)
Representative of the Italian anti-GMO Task Force
Christophe Morvan, Fondation Sciences Citoyennes (France)
Cinzia Scaffidi, Italian anti-GMO Taskforce 


Translation will be provided from and to Italian, English, French and Spanish.

More information:
Luca Colombo, FIRAB, <l.colombo@firab.it>
Nina Holland, CEO, <nina@corporateeurope.org>

Related issues: 
 

The official EU assessment of glyphosate was based on unpublished studies owned by industry. Seven months later, the pesticide industry still fights disclosure and, so far, successfully. We obtained a copy of their arguments.

The European Commission proposal on scientific criteria defining endocrine disruptors (EDCs) is the latest dangerous outgrowth of a highly toxic debate. The chemical lobby, supported by certain Commission factions (notably DG SANTE and the Secretary-General) and some member states (UK and Germany), has put significant obstacles in the way of effective public health and environment regulation.

This May is dense on the EU chemicals regulation front. Crunch time for two major files: the European Commission needs to publish the identification criteria for endocrine disrupting chemicals, and together with EU States must decide how, or not, renew the market approval of glyphosate, an herbicide produced and defended by Monsanto. Last week, the Professor Alan Boobis happened to be involved in both.

Demonstrating the problematic symbiosis between corporate interests and EU institutions, the same lobbying consultancies often get hired by both.

A few weeks after the May coup against Dilma Rousseff by conservative parties backed by the country's largest corporations, Brazil's “interim” government, led by Michel Temer, signed an emergency loan to the State of Rio de Janeiro to help finance infrastructure for the 2016 Olympics. The bailout was conditional to selling off the State's public water supply and sanitation company, the Companhia Estadual de Águas e Esgotos (Cedae). 

When we interviewed City Councillor and chair of Rio’s Special Committee on the Water Crisis Renato Cinco, in December 2015, he was already warning against such privatisation threats and provided important background information on the water situation in Rio.

Never before has a former European Commission official been criticised as much for his post-EU career as ex-Commission president Barroso upon joining infamous US investment bank Goldman Sachs this summer. Citizens are outraged and evidence already points towards a gross violation of the EU Treaty.

Following the high-level appointment of former European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to Goldman Sachs, NGOs have launched a petition demanding stricter rules for ex-EU commissioners’ revolving door moves.

Corporate Europe Observatory's new report 'A spoonful of sugar' illustrates how the sugar lobby undermines existing laws and fights off much-needed measures that are vital for tackling Europe’s looming obesity crisis.

 
 
 
 
 
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The corporate lobby tour