The global agricultural sector can curb emissions immediately and provide a window for fossil fuel-guzzling energy and transport sectors to decarbonise before global warming spirals out of control, the United Nations said on Friday (10 November).
As the EU debates how to regulate the so-called new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs), critics have urged the Commission to build a legal framework that guarantees traceability and safety, while allowing farmers and consumers to support the model of farming of their choice.
The vice-chair of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee has argued that Europe should embrace innovative biotechnologies to boost food production while cutting the environmental impact of farming, but environmentalists remain sceptical.
EU farmers have expressed concerns about an ongoing court case on plant breeding techniques, saying it might end up being a "political" decision that does not take into account scientific and economic arguments.
The biotech industry has urged the European Commission to “show leadership and positive commitment” to plant breeding innovation - which environmentalists and farmers largely oppose - and to provide clarity on agricultural innovation in general.
The European Commission plans to propose further restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, an EU official told EURACTIV on Wednesday (20 September), amid a continuing tug of war between environmental groups and pesticide producers.
The European Commission is considering new proposals to encourage the use of technologies to monitor farm parcels receiving subsidies from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), an EU official told EURACTIV.com.
The Netherlands believes the new plant breeding techniques should not come under the GMO legislation as they are as safe as traditional breeding. It also insists that a discussion on the issue should be launched soon, even before the EU Court rules on the issue.
EXCLUSIVE / The European People’s Party (EPP) believes Brussels must first settle the UK's departure from the European Union and set a stable post-Brexit financial framework “before triggering discussions on the future reform" of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).
Farmers in France have reacted strongly to Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot's intention to block the reauthorisation of glyphosate, pointing out the negative effects the ban would have on conservation farming, as well as increased overhead costs.
Several EU lawmakers from the European Parliament's agriculture committee expressed their concerns on Wednesday (30 August) about the introduction of new technologies in farming, claiming that it might put smallholders at risk.
Spain's agricultural ministry has this month launched, for the second consecutive year, a pilot experiment using artificial intelligence techniques (AI) to anticipate the evolution of the olive fly pest. EURACTIV's partner EFEAgro reports.
A “broad EU reflection” on new breeding techniques and innovation in the seeds sector and beyond is needed, European Commission sources told EURACTIV.com in the light of a new scientific report on genetic engineering techniques in agriculture.
Precision farming could play a leading role in making EU agriculture more sustainable. But green NGOs claim that the concentration of food production in the hands of the agri-food industry will have catastrophic consequences.
The Pan-European Farmers’ Association (Copa-Cogeca) said on Thursday (28 July) that innovation in plant breeding should be further encouraged in order to help the EU combat hunger and malnutrition worldwide.
EXCLUSIVE / After Europe's decision to keep its door shut to GMOs, the European Commission is trying its best to avoid opening a new trade row with the United States over how to regulate so-called 'new plant breeding techniques' (NPBTs).
Collapsed milk prices, the China crisis and the Russian ban on imports all mean that Europe needs new markets, said European Commissioner for Agriculture Phil Hogan. He wants to form a group of experts that can plot a course out of the mire. He spoke with EURACTIV's partner Tagesspiegel.
When chemicals are considered too dangerous to be tested on humans, animals have long been the answer to some scientific quandaries. The EU project ToxRisk will act as Europe's flagship for safety assessments that do not require the use of animals. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Organic farmers have raised the alarm over the potential “severe” economic and environmental consequences of new plant breeding techniques for Europe’s farming sector, calling for GMO legislation to apply when approving new seed traits.
EXCLUSIVE / A legal analysis of whether new plant breeding techniques should fall under EU GMO legislation will be completed by the first quarter of 2016, a European Commission spokesperson has told EURACTIV.
SPECIAL REPORT / 'New plant breeding techniques' focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering. A troubling question for policymakers is whether these techniques should fall under GMO legislation.