Science and Policymaking

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 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.

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.
Health 09-02-2017

Commission must take action against endocrine disruptors

Reducing exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals will benefit healthcare systems and economies as a whole, writes Christian Zahn.
Agrifood 15-11-2016

New GM crops once again fail the safety test

As the world focuses elsewhere, two untested varieties of genetically modified maize are slowly manoeuvring their way through the legislative hoops of the European institutions towards Europe’s fields, writes Mute Schimpf.  

Auditors’ report on biofuels calls for return to common sense

Will the report of the EU Court of Auditors (ECA) regarding the EU system for the certification of sustainable biofuels spark an outbreak of common sense within the Commission, asks Dick Roche.
Energy 19-10-2016

The EU’s dangerous biomass delusion

Bioenergy advocates claim that Europe’s forests are well managed and don’t contribute to global warming. Yet, biomass production in Europe is projected to rely more and more on materials that have a high risk of increasing greenhouse gas emissions, writes Linde Zuidema.
Health 01-09-2016

EU’s sunbed safety assessment clouded by bias

An upcoming assessment by a European Commission committee on the risks of UV radiation and sunbeds is hamstrung by in-built bias and a failure to comprehensively address all the issues, warns Frank Harbusch.
[epSos.de/Flickr]

What does an innovation agenda mean for consumers?

Innovation and consumer protection are not opposites. Indeed there is huge potential to use innovation to deliver safer products that benefit consumers, writes Monique Goyens.
Climate change 05-08-2016

Commission’s endocrine disruptor plan is illegal, inadequate and woefully late

European Commission draft rules to identify and ultimately ban endocrine disrupters are illegal because they clash with existing pesticide and biocide regulations, Alice Bernard writes. The environmental lawyer warned that EU judges could throw out the changes to the long-awaited scientific criteria for the chemicals.
Chemicals

The EU’s confused evidence processes for identifying endocrine disruptors

A group of scientists has written to the European Commission to voice concerns about burden of proof and confused evidence requirements to identify and classify endocrine disruptors under the PPP and Biocides Regulations.

EU glyphosate tantrum could leave people exposed to cancer risk

It is time for the European Commission to stop mucking about and act responsibly on glyphosate. If it grants a temporary extension it must include restrictions that minimise human exposure, writes Franziska Achterberg.

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.
Agrifood 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.
Public Affairs 17-06-2013

Should EU regulatory professionals start engaging in social media?

We are witnessing a new phenomenon where online tools, and especially the mobilising force of social media is no longer restricted to high politics or pure monitoring of EU events, but it is entering the realm of regulatory issues, from pesticides to intellectual property, where policy makers, both on national and EU level, are keen (and sometimes forced) to listen to the public, says András Baneth.

Toxicity tests for chemicals: If only we all had EFSA’s crystal ball

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) seems confident that research on the toxicity of low doses of chemicals in food is irrelevant to risk assessment. This is despite mounting evidence that low-dose exposure, particularly to endocrine-disrupting chemicals, could be contributing to rising rates of a number of diseases, writes Paul Whaley.

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