Another day, another declaration

Hot on the heels of the joint declaration by Birdlife International and the European Landowners Association and the declaration of 23 European agricultural economists comes the European Food Declaration (PDF).

The European Food Declaration diagnoses the problems of Europe’s food and farming system in the following way:

– dependence on under-priced fossil fuels
– failure to recognise the limitations of water and land resources
– promotion of unhealthy diets high in calories, fat and salt, and low in fruit, vegetables and
– domination by transnational corporations and the World Trade Organisation (WTO)

The declaration argues that:

“All people should have access to healthy, safe, and nutritious food.

Read the rest

Changes in GM feedstuffs rules on the way?

There now seems to be momentum building up to change EU rules on GM feedstuffs in order to assist the future of the pig and poultry industries in Europe, with the Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel waxing eloquent on this issue on her blog last week after she raised the issue at the monthly Agricultural Council. According to a Reuters report, the Commissioner has indicated that a proposal on a maximum level for GMO residues in imports should be ready before the end of the year.

The problem arises for two reasons. The first is that the EU has tended to lag behind other countries in the approval of new GM varieties for use in animal feedstuffs.… Read the rest

Prospects for GMO products in the EU

After the forceful and successful management of the agricultural dossier by the French Presidency in the second half of 2008, it was inevitable that the agenda for the Czech Presidency would be a light one, and this is also reflected in the activity level for this blog since the beginning of this year.

Nonetheless, even in a context where most attention is focused on dealing with the financial crisis and the strengthening recession hitting Europe, Europe’s agricultural and food industries continue to be required to address regulatory issues affecting the governance of the sector. One of these issues concerns the regulatory environment for genetically modified products (GMPs), and I am indebted to EurActiv for drawing my attention to the outcome of a meeting of the Environmental Council in early December which gave a series of political directions to the Commission on this issue.… Read the rest