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: 
 

More than 80 per cent of the national experts involved in the EU's official assessment of glyphosate refused to have their names disclosed to the public.

Monsanto and the pesticide industry breathed a collective sigh of relief on 12 November 2015. The findings of an investigation into the toxicity of glyphosate by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and EU Member States were in stark contradiction to the March 2015 conclusion by the International Agency for Research against Cancer (IARC), a body of the World Health Organization (WHO), that this agricultural herbicide was probably causing cancer to humans. If validated, this conclusion could cause a partial ban of glyphosate in the EU. [UPDATED on 30 11 2015 16.30 CET]

Open letter to Commissioner Andriukaitis on glyphosate

Heard by the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, Bernhard Url, EFSA's director, said that the EU had "enough scientific capability around [...] without a chief scientific adviser".

CEO turns the spotlight on another of the interest groups operating within the European Parliament.

The voice of the Dutch Government has been loud and clear in Brussels on the issue of cisgenic plants. The Dutch have waged a sustained campaign to have new GM techniques – and in particular cisgenesis – excluded from EU GMO regulations. Several Dutch ministries, the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Permanent Representation in Brussels, and Dutch MEPs have energetically pursued this goal.

At least one developer of new GM crops – Canadian-based Cibus – has attempted to bypass the European policy process by presenting policy makers with a fait accompli: decisions by individual Member States on the regulatory status of new techniques, as well as prematurely-launched trials of new GM crops.

The biotech industry is staging an audacious bid to have a whole new generation of genetic engineering techniques excluded from European regulations. The pending decision of the European Commission on the regulation of these so-called 'new GMOs' represents a climax point in the ongoing below-the-radar attack by industry on GM laws.

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