How do agribusiness corporations impact decisions on our food system?
19 March 2009, Brussels. As we have seen, EU agrofuel policy has spurred a number of initiatives supposedly aimed at bringing ‘sustainable’ agrofuels to the market over the past few years. These efforts have been used to try and justify the 10% agrofuel target.
In Front of a Statoil petrol station (Nobelvägan near corner Lönngatan) the traffic was stopped and waiters and waitresses serving organic food talked to the drivers. They had to choose between fuelling their car, or access to food for themselves and other people. There was understanding and sympathy for the alternative, although nobody decided to leave the car at the spot. Luckily the police was occupied by their preparations for the big ESF demonstration. It took them 30 minutes to find out about the action.
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) biosafety negotiations have been the target ofbiotech industry lobbyists and pro-biotech governments from the outset. But some have taken a more subtle approach to their lobbying, hiding their agenda beneath a veneer of public interest. Scrape beneath the surface however and their links to the biotech industry become clear. One such organisation is the Public Research and Regulation Initiative (PRRI) which appeared on the scene after the first biosafety negotiations under the CBD.
Bonn, 19 May -- The biosafety negotiations in Bonn ended without a legally binding agreement on who could be held liable for compensation
for damage caused by GM crops. Negotiators reached an "accord" which will be negotiated further over the next two years. This time it was Japan blocking progress, with the silent approval of New Zealand, Peru,and probably others. This does not look good for Japan who is host for the next CBD.
On 15 January 2008, six organisations and networks sent a letter of protest to Research Commissioner Janez Potočnik about the ‘Strategic Research Agenda’ and ‘Strategy Deployment Document’ composed by the European Biofuels Technology Platform.This platform, initiated by the European Commission itself, is heavily dominated by industry and has been given the opportunity to advise the EU about how public research money should be spent regarding agrofuel research. But not only that.
The EU is proposing a 10 per cent mandatory target for agrofuel use in transport by 2020. Yet there is strong and growing evidence that, far from reducing emissions, the rush to agrofuels will significantly accelerate climate change and contribute to a range of other social and environmental problems. While criticism of agrofuels grows, EU policy makers are developing ‘sustainability’ criteria and standards for agrofuels and biomass.
Despite growing public concern about the risks associated to agrofuels, the European Union (EU) is throwing its weight behind the promotion of these often very harmful crops. In March 2007, a proposal set targets to increase the use of agrofuels in all road transport fuel to 10 percent by 2020. The Commission is also planning to channel large amounts of EU public funds towards the research & development of agrofuel projects.This report looks at the EU's Agrofuel Folly.
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