Science and Policymaking

Agrifood 23-07-2018

Plant breeding techniques: Commission wants broader reflection on innovation in seeds sector

The European Court of Justice will decide on Wednesday (25 July) if the so-called new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) fall under the GM legislation, in a highly anticipated ruling that has divided the relevant stakeholders
Climate change 12-07-2018

Soil ‘completely underestimated’ in EU climate strategy

While climate change takes a toll on agriculture and land use contributes to warming the planet, soils still find little attention from policymakers in their climate strategies.
Politics 03-07-2018

Lobbyist: In Brussels, the balance of power is in the camp of NGOs

It’s crucial for the industry to move from a defensive to a pro-active attitude and be able to communicate with the public and social networks in order to achieve a science-based policy making.
Agrifood 26-06-2018

Plant breeding innovations can help to future proof our farming system

Reading the opinion of Greens / EFA members of the European Parliament on plant breeding, one can’t help but be amazed by their obsession with GMOs, writes Garlich von Essen.
Agrifood 25-06-2018

Science-based policy making: reality or fake news?

‘Evidence-based policy-making’ constitutes one of the key slogans of the Juncker Commission and the Better Regulation agenda. But reality reveals a wide gap between theory and practice, writes Daniel Guéguen.
Agrifood 25-06-2018

Science, public opinion and policy-making

The re-authorisation of Monsanto’s weedkiller glyphosate and the ban of three neonicotinoids – a class of insecticide – have opened a heated debate on the role of science in policy-making.

Agrifood 21-06-2018

‘New GMOs’ are not progress, but another tool of industrial farming

The EU Court of Justice will soon publish its ruling concerning the legal statute of a group of biotechnologies, which have been called “new plant breeding techniques” by the industry.
Agrifood 18-05-2018

EU farming community divided over new plant breeding techniques

The EU should embrace the new plant breeding techniques as the best chance to supply enough food for the EU's population, according to mainstream EU farmers. But organic farmers oppose this and a lot may depend on a European court ruling due before the summer.
Agrifood 09-05-2018

New plant breeding techniques concern law interpretation, Commission says

The future of new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs) at the EU level lies in the European Court of Justice’s interpretation of existing law, Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis told EURACTIV.com, adding that the executive will act accordingly at the political level.
Agrifood 25-04-2018

EFSA boss: EU food law overhaul ‘a big step towards transparency’

The European Commission has learned its lesson from the glyphosate controversy and is coming forward with “bold proposals” on transparency, says Bernhard Url. The raw data of all industry-funded studies related to pesticides will be made publicly available under Commission plans, he told EURACTIV in an interview.
Agrifood 11-04-2018

Commission efforts to build trust in food safety receives mixed reviews

The European Commission presented on 11 April a proposal aiming to restore public trust in scientific studies on food safety, suggesting more transparency in decision-making and greater involvement of member states’ experts.  

Safety first: Food packers shun recycled plastics, for now

Tetra Pak, the iconic Swedish maker of beverage cartons, is currently staying away from using recycled plastics in the inside lining of its packages – the most sensitive bit that comes in contact with drinks. But this could all change under EU proposals due this year.
[Shutterstock]
Agrifood 06-04-2018

Brazilian biofuel producers oppose further deforestation of the Amazon

The Brazilian Senate is considering lifting a ban on sugarcane production for ethanol fuel in the Amazon. The plan, supported by the country's president, has sparked protests from environmentalists and the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association, UNICA.
Agrifood 19-03-2018

Greenpeace: Commission and member states playing ‘hide and seek’ on neonics ban

The European Commission is playing hide and seek with member states regarding a ban on neonicotinoids, and this benefits pesticide manufacturers who keep on killing bees and the environment, Greenpeace claims.
Agrifood 06-02-2018

Salmonella on the rise again, EU officials admit

The incidence of Salmonella in humans was almost halved between 2004 and 2009 but new figures show that it has re-appeared, causing worries for food producers and health workers, but also for EU policymakers.
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Fact-checking Science

Fact Checking Science: Shaping the governance of scientific advice in the EU

What can EU institutions do to reinvigorate trust in EU government? Members of the European Parliament, in particular, play a key role in this process.

Restoring trust and effectiveness in EU scientific advice

Today, more than ever, EU regulators must ensure that risk management decisions meet public demands for high standards of protection whilst simultaneously stimulating competitiveness and prosperity in Europe. Basing decisions on the best available science is the pre-condition for achieving these goals, argues Dirk Hüdig.
Agrifood 28-11-2017

Commission’s formaldehyde U-turn shows need to separate science from politics, emotion

Chemicals, even naturally occurring ones, often sound scary, and they certainly can be hazardous. But most, when appropriately managed, deliver significant benefits, writes Rick Phillips.
Agrifood 28-11-2017

Time to move fish welfare from principle to practice

The unseen life of farmed fish has given them low visibility in civil society, in policy circles, and in the animal welfare movement, despite scientific consensus that fish are sentient, and suffer pain, fear, and stress. Now it is time to act, writes Douglas Waley.
Agrifood 20-11-2017

WHO agency isolated in glyphosate fight

The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is standing firmly by its opinion that glyphosate, the world’s most commonly used weedkiller, is probably carcinogenic to humans despite a new large-scale study suggesting the opposite.
Agrifood 07-11-2017

Scientists urge action against insect decline

Scientists have come to Brussels to warn policymakers of the negative impact of pesticides on bees as the Commission prepares to propose a full ban on neonicotinoids.
Agrifood 25-10-2017

EU delays vote on renewing controversial weedkiller licence

The EU on Wednesday (25 October) postponed a vote on renewing the licence for the controversial weedkiller glyphosate, which the European Parliament wants to ban in five years' time amid criticism that it may cause cancer.
Agrifood 10-10-2017

EU agencies accused of cherry-picking evidence in glyphosate assessment

Lawyers on the “Monsanto papers” case accused the EU agencies responsible for food safety and chemicals of “wilfully sawing off certain studies” in their risk assessment of glyphosate.
Agrifood 29-09-2017

Maize farmers on glyphosate and neonicotinoids: ‘We need to protect science’

As member states are due to vote on two key dossiers, maize farmers claim that EU regulation restricting access to plant protection products and plant genetics has reduced their competitiveness worldwide and that such regulation is not based on science.

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