Science and Policymaking

Agrifood 14-11-2018

Commission’s scientific body calls for GM legislation update

The European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) issued a statement on Tuesday (13 November) saying the directive on genetically modified organisms should be revised in order to adjust to the current knowledge, especially when it comes to gene editing.
Agrifood 12-11-2018

Biodiversity can benefit from new technologies, EU official says

It is the duty of scientists to point out what could be accomplished by using new plant breeding techniques (NPBTs), according to European Commission official Barend Verachtert, who praised the virtue of new technologies in agriculture at an event organised by EURACTIV on 5 November.
Agrifood 26-10-2018

Scientists warn EU policymakers on ‘confusing’ gene editing court ruling

An interpretation of a recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling on gene editing is confusing EU member states, while the scientific community are warning policymakers about the implications on the future of EU farming.
Agrifood 12-10-2018

Science and public opinion: Where do politicians stand?

Policy makers, industry and civil society are trying to find a way to reconcile scientific evidence with public opinion’s beliefs when it comes to food safety. However, this has proved time and again to be a difficult challenge.
Agrifood 26-09-2018

EFSA re-confirms toxicity of organic pesticide, exposes PEST Committee boss

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) released fresh data, which re-confirm the toxicity of copper compounds, pesticides that are used in organic farming.
Agrifood 24-09-2018

Over-regulating gene editing slows down innovation, Bayer says

An extensive regulatory process on gene editing adds more bureaucracy, increasing costs and slowing down innovation, Liam Condon, President of Bayer’s crop science division told EURACTIV.com.
Agrifood 04-09-2018

Brazilian court overturns injunction prohibiting use of glyphosate

Brazilian farmers will continue to have access to the world’s most used weed killer after Brazil’s Federal judge reversed a previous ruling, which had suspended the existing and new registration of glyphosate-based products.
Agrifood 04-09-2018

EU farmers ‘hostages’ of unstable politics and technology gap, report claims

The lack of access to modern technologies combined with the fragile political landscape has put agriculture production in the EU under enormous pressure, at a time when other major farm markets in the world are growing, a new report has found.
Agrifood 29-08-2018

Like nicotine: Bees get hooked on harmful pesticide, study shows

Bumblebees acquire a taste for food laced with a pesticide known to harm them, according to a study suggesting the chemicals pose an even greater threat to pollinators than previously thought.
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.
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 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.
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.
Agrifood 20-07-2017

EU adopts first restrictions on cancer-causing acrylamide in food

Representatives of the EU’s 28 member states voted yesterday (19 July) in favour of a European Commission proposal to reduce the presence in food of acrylamide, a known carcinogenic substance present in fries, crisps, bread, biscuits, or coffee.

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