EU news and policy debates across languages

04/05/2016

Risk expert: Policymakers often misuse precautionary principle

Risk assessment


Transport 04-05-2016

Green transport target will be scrapped post-2020, EU confirms

EU laws requiring member states to use “at least 10%” renewable energy in transport will be scrapped after 2020, the European Commission confirmed, hoping to set aside a protracted controversy surrounding the environmental damage caused by biofuels.
Agriculture & Food 02-05-2016

Belgium and France are EU's bee mortality hotspots

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published figures on the loss of bees in the EU. Belgium tops the list for winter mortality, and France for the beekeeping season. EurActiv's partner Journal de l'Environnement reports.

REACH ‘monster’ will devour EU innovation, chemical industry warns

Chemical industry lobbyists have stepped up their criticism of Europe’s REACH chemical safety regulation, branding the law “a monster” that “will devour” the industry’s ability to innovate.

EFSA wants to review the chemical BPA, again

A new report on the chemical compound Bisphenol A (BPA) has forced the EFSA, the EU's food safety watchdog, to review the effects of the chemical on human health once more.
NewsSpecial Report

Fresh EU-US trade spat brewing over new plant breeding techniques

SPECIAL REPORT / 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).

Parliament agrees to re-authorise glyphosate, demands restrictions

The European Parliament this week (13 April) approved a seven-year extension to the authorisation of the chemical glyphosate, a suspected carcinogen present in many domestic and agricultural pesticides, notably Monsanto's Roundup. EurActiv France reports.

Chemicals ‘fitness check’ should improve EU legislation, not water it down

The scope of the European Commission’s Fitness Check on chemicals is limited to a comparison of the “hazard versus risk” approaches in chemicals legislation. This is misguided, writes Dolores Romano, who argues a hazard-based approach can help protect people and the environment while supporting innovation.

EU pushed towards ‘climate disclosure’ regime for investors

Pressure is building on global regulators and the European Commission to “stress-test” portfolios of large institutional investors against long-term objectives to reduce climate change, in a move that could shift billions in investment away from fossil fuels.
Agriculture & Food 31-03-2016

Decision on new plant breeding techniques further delayed

The European Commission further delayed a much-awaited legal analysis of whether new plant breeding techniques should be considered as GMOs, EurActiv has learned.

EU delays glyphosate decision amid cancer uproar

The EU postponed a decision Tuesday (8 March) on whether to extend the approval of a crucial weedkiller ingredient for another 15 years amid international uproar that it may cause cancer.

Brussels promises hormone disruptors definition 'by this summer'

The European Commission has responded to criticism over its weaknesses on health and food safety with a series of goodwill gestures on hormone disruptors and glyphosate. EurActiv France reports.
Agriculture & Food 02-03-2016

Endocrine disruptors: ‘Better Regulation’ or better public health?

Endocrine disruptors pose a substantial risk to public health, yet the European Commission has dawdled time and again on introducing measures that would finally limit their use. Now is the time to put this right, write Genon Jensen and Michael Warhurst.


Freedom of choice over GMO cultivation is a step forward

The European Parliament made history on 15 January this year, when it adopted the so-called opt-out proposal for genetically modified organisms (GMO). The decision to grant national governments this freedom and legal certainty was vital in a time of such euroscepticism, writes Elisabeth Köstinger. 

Aviation safety body sets out risk-based approach to civil drone use

Three categories of civil drone should be created to regulate the unmanned aerial vehicles now used in everything from filming to farming and parcel deliveries, Europe's aviation safety body has proposed.
InfographicPromoted
Health & Consumers 04-12-2014

Investing in the future of health

In a bid to highlight the important yet highly delicate nature of Europe’s innovative industries, a new report, produced by the Deloitte Health Economics Group and commissioned by Janssen, has sought to evaluate the comparable risks incurred across five major industries.

When politics trumps science: The curious case of the EU's GMO authorisation system

Policy makers generally trust the scientific recommendations of independent EU agencies. But in the GMO area, a vicious circle of lack of approvals and decreased trust in the technology is being perpetuated, leading to a negative precedent of “politics over science”, writes Nathalie Moll.

Endocrine disruptors: Harmful or not?

Rising levels of cancers and fertility problems have attracted scientists’ attention to endocrine disrupting chemicals, with some calling for strict regulation of the substances, in line with the precautionary principle. Others meanwhile, stress the worthiness of those chemicals in everyday products such as plastics and warn that the foundations of science risk being turned upside down if precautionary measures are taken.
Health & Consumers 31-10-2013

EFSA expert: We need to think out of the box on infectious diseases

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is launching a new initiative on infectious diseases after a series of recent outbreaks in the EU, such as the Bluetongue (in Northern Europe in 2006), Schmallenberg (in 2011) and Q fever (in the Netherlands, 2007-2010), explains Franck Berthe.
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European Risk Summit 2013

The European Risk Summit, hosted in June 2013, has brought renewed focus to the issue of evidence and risk-based rulemaking, and has highlighted the critical role that science plays in policy formation at EU level.
NewsSpecial Report

World leaders warned on risks of climate change

SPECIAL REPORT / SPECIAL REPORT / With time running short to agree a post-2020 international deal to tackle climate change, a new report warns that inaction puts the world at risk of greater climate volatility.
NewsSpecial Report

How volcanoes and airplanes offer lessons for risk taking

SPECIAL REPORT / SPECIAL REPORT / When Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in 2010, EU aviation authorities saw little choice but to shut down airspace across much of Europe as a precaution against ash and grit choking aircraft engines.  
NewsSpecial Report

MEP calls for parliamentary risk panel to tame green ‘scaremongering’

SPECIAL REPORT / SPECIAL REPORT / The European Parliament needs more science and less emotion in making decisions on chemicals, pesticides and other contentious legislation, an MEP said on Tuesday (11 June), arguing that lawmakers were influenced by "scaremongering" and environmental lobbying in recent votes.  
NewsSpecial Report

Food safety agency seeks to repair its risk assessor reputation

SPECIAL REPORT / SPECIAL REPORT / More than a decade after it was established, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) still struggles to persuade consumers that it is a credible risk assessor working for the public good and not unduly influenced by corporate lobbyists.
InterviewSpecial Report

Risk expert: Policymakers often misuse precautionary principle

SPECIAL REPORT / Evaluating risk requires a balance of quantitative assessment and regulatory review. But often in the European Union, there is a “misuse” of the precautionary principle to appease national of political interests, says Ragnar Löfstedt.