Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

EU's Zero Tolerance on GM under fire

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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. This policy means that imported food and feed stuffs are not allowed to contain even the smallest amount of genetically modified material (referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs) that has not been approved for sale in the European Union.

This article examines evidence from the feed industry which shows how they distorted the facts and exaggerated the impacts as part of their lobby campaign to get rid of zero tolerance.

 

Read the full article here

 
On 17 April, Via Campesina, the D190-20 Alliance and Corporate Europe Observatory held a lobby tour around the Brussels European quarter, highlighting the corporate lobbies who are pushing an aggressive agenda around TTIP (the EU-US trade deal currently being negotiated). There was a particular emphasis on the impacts TTIP will have, if passed, for farmers' livelihoods, food standards, and for the way food is produced in the EU. The next negotiation round will take place on 20 April, this time in New York.
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Multi-sectoral civil society coalition calls for greater protections for consumers, journalists, whistleblowers, researchers and workers.
375 civil society organisations from across Europe have called on MEPs to protect citizens, workers, and the environment from the threats posed by the controversial TTIP talks.
How industry, law firms and the European Commission worked together on EU “trade secrets” legislation.
The investment bank Goldman Sachs has revised its registration in the EU's lobby transparency register and has substantially increased its declared lobby spend from the 2013 figure of less than €50,000 to €700,000-€799,999 for 2014. This compounds Corporate Europe Observatory's view that Goldman Sachs' original registration was not a full reflection of its EU lobbying activity. Yet despite this under-reporting, for five months the register secretariat took little action and Goldman Sachs was able to secure at least four meetings with top Commission officials.
The first corporate sponsors of this winter's 'historic' UN climate talks (COP21) have been unofficially unveiled: luxury brand Luis Vuitton (LVMH) and Suez Environment, a key member of the French pro-fracking lobby. According to an article by ATTAC's Maxime Combes, others were initially announced in the press (BMW, Vattenfall and New Holland Agriculture) but later denied by the COP21 organisers.
"There is de facto a systemic collusion between the Commission and business circles"

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