Join the Food Revolution Newsletter
Issue n° 22 October 2016
GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY
- Glyphosate: MEPs protest on Right to Know Day against fake transparency
- Ban on Bisphenol A in all food contact material
- GMO- Divergence of opinion within EFSA highlights serious shortcomings with assessment process
- World Food Day: Agriculture must move in step with the needs of our climate
- How a fair EU agri-food policy can help create jobs in rural areas
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
- Save Soil with your signature: EU launch of the People4Soil European Citizens’ Initiative
JOIN THE FOOD REVOLUTION: THE STORY OF THE MONTH
- Every month food actors who joined the 'Join the Food Revolution' network share their story, showing the way to take back control over your plate –
WHAT'S ON THE PLATE?
- Upcoming Events
GREEN INSIGHT INTO EU FOOD POLICY
Glyphosate: MEPs protest on Right to Know Day against fake transparency
Every year, on 28th September, transparency campaigners, governments and international bodies such as UNESCO celebrate International Right to Know Day. The right to access information is a fundamental human right which permits us to participate in democratic decision-making, exercise our rights to freedom of expression, and hold our decision-makers to account. This lack of transparency is evident in the ongoing debate over the renewal of glyphosate. EFSA has been shrouded in controversy after declaring – in complete contradiction with the UN World Health Organisation – that glyphosate was probably not carcinogenic. Despite requests made by the Greens/EFA group to access documents that would justify EFSA’s decision, the European agency has failed so far to publish them, relying on arguments from the companies funding the studies that publication would harm their commercial interests. These companies have then taken the initiative to open a ‘reading room’ to give access to these documents, but not without strong limitations which still prevent scientific documents presented there from being fully accessible and peer reviewed and thus be real science
Ban on Bisphenol A in all food contact material
Food contact materials (FCMs) are largely used in everyday life such as food packaging, kitchen utensils, tableware, etc. When put in contact with food, the different materials may transfer their components to the food and endanger human health. Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor is found in a variety of FCM, such as plastic water bottles or cans. Exposure to BPA occurs also when a pregnant woman is exposed, thereby exposing the foetus. Therefore Greens have consistently pushed for the ban of BPA in FCM and welcome the parliamentary vote that called for the ban of this substance in FCM. This sends a strong signal to the European Commission, asking to stop the use of this harmful product at EU level.
GMOs - Divergence of opinion within EFSA highlights serious shortcomings with assessment process.
More than 60 GM plants are currently authorised for use in food and feed in the European Union. Before the authorisation process for any GM plant can begin it has first to be evaluated by the EU safety agency EFSA. But, EFSA almost invariably issues a positive opinion on GM plants, casting doubts on the fairness of their evaluation procedures.
Read our press release on the latest GMO objections voted by the European Parliament
World Food Day: Agriculture must move in step with the needs of our climate
“Climate is changing. Agriculture must too”. That is the theme of this year’s UN World Food Day, to be celebrated on 16th October.
The message is a promising one. And with World Food Day falling just before the next UN Climate Change Conference, linking food and climate resonates strongly
At first glance, it seems a promising and ambitious programme. But how will the FAO and, at EU level, the European Commission actually approach adaptation to climate change? And how does the COP22 aim to include food and agriculture in the COP discussions?
How a fair EU agri-food policy can help create jobs in rural areas
How effective is European support for farming and agriculture? Well, the numbers speak for themselves: rural economies are in bad shape.
Between 2005 and 2010, 2.5 million farms were lost in the EU, with the average farm size increasing. Between 2000 and 2012, European agriculture lost 4.8 million jobs. Small farms tend to be more labour intensive with 53% of the workforce working on small sized farms.
The report covering this matter was voted on Thursday 26th October.
Greens managed to significantly improve this EP initiative by bringing in broader perspectives on the effectiveness and fairness of the existing CAP in terms of job creation.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
European launch of the People4Soil petition
Each passing minute, the soil is assaulted, suffocated, contaminated, exploited, poisoned, mistreated, and depleted. In Europe, there is no longer a common law that protects the soil
Safeguarding the soil with laws is the primary way of protecting people, plants, and animals. Without healthy, alive soil, there is no future. Healthy, alive soil protects us from environmental disasters, from climate change, from poisons all around.
More than 400 associations have joined together as part of the People4Soil coalition which asks the EU for specific regulations to protect the soil, which is as essential to life as water and air. What can you do? Save soil with your signature to the petition launched by civil society. The objective is to reach 1 Million signature by the end of the year in order to make this request for a better soil policy considered by the European Commission.
- Sign the petition here
Want to know more about the key role of our soils: Watch our video and read the outcomes of our conference Why Soil matters
JOIN THE FOOD REVOLUTION: STORY OF THE MONTH
Picoune and Patrick run the restaurant A l’Ardoise, in Nantes.
In this creative and cosy place you will discover a traditional French cuisine always ready to fulfill your apetite for surprises. No expenditure of unnecessary paper! You will find all menus and drinks on the slate on the walls! Your hosts are always eager to work fresh, seasonal and local: the lunch menu changes every week and the evening one every 15 days according to what local producers can provide! In a nutshell, this magic place is open to all people who like to take time to eat quality food for a fair price.
WHAT'S ON THE PLATE?
7/11: Public hearing ‘The role of conservation agriculture in enhancing agricultural productivity and ecosystem services, organised by the Agriculture committee of the European Parliament, Brussels. See draft programme here
‘How can the CAP drive climate mitigation and adaptation in the agriculture sector?’ organised by IFOAM Europe in Brussels, Belgium
28/11: Public hearing 'Resource efficient and innovative agriculture - EU and global best practice', organised by the Agriculture committee of the European Parliament, Brussels,Belgium