Agrifood Archives

  • Fight against obesity

    Special Report | Sports 17-10-2007

    Sedentary modern lifestyles and over-eating have raised obesity to the number one public health challenge of the 21st century, with rapidly increasing childhood obesity of particular concern to western nations. The Commission has given the food industry and advertising sector until 2010 to clean up its act.

  • Biofuels: The Next Generation

    Energy 18-09-2007

    With ethanol and biodiesel coming under increasing criticism for driving up food prices and putting biodiversity at risk, the EU has committed to 'second-generation' biofuels as a clean alternative for transportation - but many challenges remain before they find their way into our cars.

  • Life Sciences & Biotechnology

    Science & Policymaking 05-03-2007

    The EU's Life Sciences and Biotech Strategy aims to make the European biotech sector more competitive and to foster research in the areas of health care, agriculture, manufacturing and the environment.

  • Biomass Action Plan

    Special Report 04-01-2007

    Bioenergies are derived from wood, waste and agricultural crops for transport uses (biofuels). Currently, the EU meets about 4% of its energy needs from biomass. The main objective of the Biomass Action Plan, put forward in December 2005, is to double this share by 2010. The plan would reduce oil imports by 8%, prevent greenhouse gas emissions worth 209 million tons CO2-equivalent per year and create up to 300,000 new jobs in the agricultural and forestry sector.

  • Simplifying the CAP

    06-10-2006

    Further CAP reforms, such as abolishing outdated production quotas, eliminating country-specific arrangements and capping subsidies, will be inevitable in coming years, both to comply with the Commission's Better Regulation Agenda and to obtain a broader societal acceptance of the EU's farm policy. EU leaders have agreed to carry out a "health check" of the CAP in 2008.

  • Lifestyle & Health

    Health 23-06-2006

    Smoking, drinking, bad nutritional habits and lack of physical activity are life-style related health determinants linked to a number of major health problems, such as cancer, cardio-vascular disease and obesity.

  • Alternative fuels for transport

    Climate change 24-02-2006

    To improve security of energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the EU has set itself the objective of a 10% substitution of traditional fuels in the road transport sector (gasoline and conventional diesel) by alternative fuels before the year 2020. Three alternative solutions are seen as promising: biofuels, natural gas and hydrogen.

  • 6th Research Framework Programme (FP6)

    26-05-2005

    The 6th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (6th FP) is the EU's main instrument for funding research in Europe. Adopted on 3 June 2002 and implemented on 1 January 2003, the programme covers the period 2002-2006 with a total budget of 17.5 billion euro.

  • Genetically Modified Organisms

    Science & Policymaking 20-05-2004

    In response to public fears about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food, the European Union adopted in July 2003 two regulations establishing an EU-wide system to trace and label GMOs and to regulate the commercialisation and labelling of food derived from GMOs. These new laws came into force in April 2004. On 18 May, the Commission put an end to the 'de facto' moratorium on approving new GM products for the European market, which had been in place since 1998.

  • Food Safety in the EU

    Health 05-03-2004

    The Commission adopted a White Paper on Food Safety in January 2000, which signals a new regulatory approach aiming to restore confidence of the European public in food safety following several food crises (dioxins, BSE and Food-and-Mouth). This new "from the farm to the fork" approach draws together the various aspects of food safety along the food chain.

  • CAP mid-term review [Archived]

    22-07-2003

    On 26 June 2003, EU farm ministers reached a final agreement on a mid-term reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Leading European farmers', business, consumer and environmental organisations have expressed deep disappointment with the compromise on the reform of the EU's farm policy.

  • CAP and rural development

    22-07-2003

    Enlargement strengthens the case for more
    support for rural development in the EU

  • CAP and world trade [Archived]

    16-09-2002

    The European Union is fully committed to the World Trade Organization (WTO) process for reducing trade-distorting agricultural subsidies and a progressive reform of agricultural policies. However, it also expects its WTO partners to take into account the European model of agriculture, which puts great emphasis on non-trade concerns, such as environmental protection, food security and rural development.

  • Organic farming [Archived]

    Health 27-03-2001

    In the last few years, organic farming has been increasingly in the spotlight due to the various food crises sprouting up around Europe. As a result of such crises as BSE and foot-and-mouth, modern agrochemicals and intensive farming methods have come under attack, leaving organic farming the next best alternative. Organic farming provides a more sustainable system of food production. However, unlike "true" sustainable farming techniques, organic farming is still dependent on fossil fuels for production, transport and processing.

  • Patenting Life [Archived]

    15-01-2001

    The European Union assured the legal protection of innovation in the area of biotechnology with Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions. The Directive established harmonised standards in order to foster the innovative potential and competitiveness of science and industry in the Union. The Directive sets out which inventions involving plants, animals or the human body may or may not be patented. It requires the Member States to allow the patenting, under certain conditions, of inventions which may have an industrial application. The Commission is currently pursuing infringement proceedings against nine Member States for their failure to transpose the Directive into national law by the 30 July 2000 deadline.