How do agribusiness corporations impact decisions on our food system?
Food crops used to fuel cars are pushing up food prices and displacing production to elsewhere, with serious social and environmental consequences; yet fierce lobbying by the agrofuels industry is diluting and undermining any action taken, as the European Parliament's disappointing recent vote on the topic demonstrated.
As the European Parliament this week plans to vote on the Commission's proposed amendments to its agrofuels policy, we look at the range of lobby strategies the industry is employing against the amendments, from front groups and trips abroad for MEPs to scientific disinformation.
For the first time in their history, European institutions will reform the entire package of legislation related to seed marketing. Since seeds are the starting point for the whole human food chain, this is hugely significant. From the very start of the process this policy initiative has been an unique opportunity for large seed companies to reinforce their control over a commercial seed supply system that they already largely dominate.
At the end of June, the European Union and the US will officially launch negotiations for a new free trade agreement known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The plan is to create the world's largest free trade area, 'protect' investment and harmonize regulation. While appealing to big business, the trade treaty poses a serious threat for citizens on both sides of the Atlantic, as it could weaken labour, social, environmental and consumer protection standards.
To: Commissioner T. Borg
Cc: Commissioners D. Ciolos, J. Potočnik, Secretary General of the Commission C. Day
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.
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