How do agribusiness corporations impact decisions on our food system?
Private letters reveal Syngenta and Bayer’s furious lobbying against EU measures to save bees. Will the pesticide lobby succeed in convincing Member States to vote no to a ban?
From 5 to 8 April, a number of organisations came together in Budapest for the Food Sovereignty Programme meeting organised by Friends of the Earth International. At the end of the meeting the participants approved a statement supporting the struggle against land grab in Hungary. The following statement was issued by:
This morning, about 40 activists and concerned citizens handed out flyers to participants to a closed-doors meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH), gathering representatives of the European Commission and Member States in the Borschette conference centre, rue Froissard 36 in Brussels.
The way the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has managed the Séralini case does not meet the standards that should be expected from the “keystone of European Union (EU) risk assessment regarding food and feed safety”.
Monsanto launched a PR offensive to try to spread doubt about a study published two days ago by French scientist Gilles-Éric Séralini: the study showed that the biotech giant's flagship herbicide, Roundup, and one the GM maizes produced by the firm, NK603, are having disastrous effects on rats' health when those are studied during their lifetime and not over the industry-favoured 90 days.
At the event, 'Silence of the Panda' by Wilfried Huismann was screened for the first time in Belgium. This film, currently forbidden in Germany, focuses on the pro-industry strategies followed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), accused by many of helping corpotations to greenwash their image with flawed ‘green’ labels. Parts of the movie are available on youtube.
The future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) post 2013 is now being debated, with the Commission proposing a new €4.5 billion budget for agricultural research. The proposal is highly strategic: the research projects that are prioritised and funded today may have a decisive impact on the way agriculture is practised in the future. That is why the ongoing lobbying battle for the control of these funds is so important: behind these projects, it is the very vision for the future of agriculture in Europe which is at stake.
In the build-up to Rio+20, the European Parliament played host to the “first ever European Week of the Bee and Pollination” from 3 to 6 June. Events included a high-profile conference inside the European Parliament and a large flower garden in front of the Parliament building. The conference in the Parliament was hosted by conservative MEP Gaston Franco, and held under the patronage of Commissioner Potocnik. It even featured ‘honey tasting with beekeepers’.
The Roundtable on Responsible Soy launched its voluntary certification process in 2006, with the first certificates introduced in 2011. Audits of 10 of the companies certified have now been published online. This briefing by the GM Freeze, Friends of the Earth (England Wales and Northern Ireland) and Corporate Europe Observatory analyses the audits and finds they show little evidence of responsible soy production on the ground.
Today groups have written to the European Parliament in anticipation of the vote on 10 May in plenary session on the EFSA 2010 budget. A letter signed by Corporate Europe Observatory, Earth Open Source, Testbiotech and Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) introduces a new briefing, focusing on the problematic links between EFSA panel members and the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), an industry lobby group.
As the European Food Safety Authority celebrates its 10th anniversary, a new report from Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Earth Open Source questions the independence of its advice. Conflicts on the menu: a decade of industry influence at the European Food Safety Authority highlights the agency’s reliance on industry data and industry-linked experts and calls for a complete overhaul of EFSA’s operations.
The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) new independence policy allows the possible subversion of scientific advice by industry’s vested interests, Corporate Europe Observatory said following publication of the policy on Wednesday. It is due for approval by the EFSA Management Board when it meets tomorrow in Warsaw.
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