European Commission tagged posts

Will the EU’s precautionary principle disrupt precision farming?

Phil Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture, talks about how the EU Space Strategy policy can help agriculture in the EU.

Phil Hogan, EC Commissioner for Agriculture, talks about how the EU Space Strategy policy can help agriculture in the EU.

On 26 October 2016 the European Commission announced, with much fanfare, its new space policy. It hopes it will keep the European space industry competitive for decades. The goal is to encourage private companies to use the data generated from EU-funded satellites in low-Earth orbit. This EU Space Strategy will impact every aspect of Europeans’ lives, from creating new jobs for start-ups and improving response times to natural disasters to coordinating self-driving cars. Thirty satellites are expected to be launched in the next 10 to 20 years.

Phil Hogan, the European Commissioner for Agriculture, was quoted as saying that this space technology will also be essential ...

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Glyphosate: Monsanto statement on European Commission extension (EN/DE/FR/NL/ES/IT/RO)

In response to today’s action by the European Commission to only temporarily extend the authorisation of glyphosate for 18 months, Dr. Philip W. Miller, Monsanto’s vice president of global regulatory and governmental affairs, released the following statement:

Today’s decision by the European Commission to temporarily extend glyphosate’s authorisation by 18 months ensures that European farmers, municipalities, gardeners and other users will continue to have access to the herbicide glyphosate while a longer-term solution to the product’s reauthorisation is found.

 European farmers, municipalities, gardeners and other users have depended on glyphosate for 40 years as a safe, efficient and cost-effective tool for weed control...

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Farmers more pessimistic about Europe’s agriculture future

A farmer uses glyphosate on barley with no till farming techniques to reduce their environmental impact.

A farmer uses glyphosate on barley with no till farming techniques to reduce his environmental impact.

The future of farming in Europe looks bleak, according to a survey of over 8,000 farmers released on 16 June 2016 by the European Farmers and European Agri-Cooperatives lobby group Copa-Cogeca. These farmers, based in 11 European Union Member States and surveyed between January and April 2016, shared their thoughts on their dissatisfaction with farming income and their disappointment of an economic turnaround. Of all the EU Member States, only farmers in Denmark and Sweden were optimistic about the current and future situation.

Currently one sign that events may get worse for European farmers is the issue around herbicides containing glyphosate...

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GTF response to Commissioner Andriukaitis’ letter Re: publication of studies.

6th April 2016

As part of the approval process for active substances, industry is obliged to generate data which is then evaluated alongside other sources of information such as open (published) studies. The admissibility of industry studies is dependent on adherence to rigorous standards, such as OECD guidelines on Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). As it stands, the legislation aims to strike a balance between satisfying the demands of the regulatory system and respecting the investment and proprietary nature of data generated by companies...

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Biodiversity area size of Latvia saved by European plant breeders

European plant breeding has delivered millions of metric tons of food over 15 years. Image courtesy European Seed Association.

European plant breeding has delivered millions of metric tons of food over 15 years. Click on the image to view the larger infographic. Image courtesy of European Seed Association.

The variety of crops that farmers grow, from maize and peppers to cotton, are created by plant breeders. These experts are matchmaking alchemists that mix art and science to change plant traits in order to bring out their best characteristics. Tolerance to disease is just one example. Over the past 15 years plant breeder techniques have saved global biodiversity equivalent to an area of 6.6 million hectares of Brazilian rainforest, or 66,000 km2 — put another way that’s a habitat the size of Latvia.

This factoid is one of many from a recent study commissioned by the European Technology Platform Plants for ...

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Glyphosate: Rigorous EU process is based on science (EN/FR)

This week has served up a handful of media stories about a group of scientists sending a letter to the European Commission urging a deviation from the established science-based approach in its regulatory review of the herbicide glyphosate.  The statutory European process for reviewing and registering pesticide products is rigorous, exhaustive and based on the best available science.  The recent European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conclusion has determined clearly, scientifically and repeatedly that glyphosate is “unlikely to be carcinogenic.”  Both EFSA and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) have clearly explained the rigor Glyphosate_Safetyand transparency of the review process.

The individuals who signed this letter are asking the Commission to deviate from the review process...

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IARC and glyphosate: What we know (EN/DE/FR/NL/IT/ES)

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In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which assesses hazards potentially associated with cancer, concluded that glyphosate, an active ingredient in many popular herbicides such as Roundup®, is a “probable carcinogen.” This “2A” category also includes health risks from professions such as hairdressers and fry cooks and shift workers.

The 2A classification doesn’t prove that glyphosate causes cancer, and IARC’s conclusion conflicts with the overwhelming consensus of regulatory bodies and science organisations around the world tha...

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EPA says glyphosate isn’t an endocrine disruptor

By Rachel Moore

This has been a difficult couple of months for glyphosate following the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) recent classification of glyphosate as a group 2A “probable carcinogen”. Now, though, we’ve got the formal confirmation of something we knew all along: glyphosate doesn’t pose any threat to the endocrine system.

Since 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been reviewing the test orders (requests for data) of several widely used herbicides and pesticides, including glyphosate, as part of the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP). Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that can interfere with hormone systems and cause adverse developmental, reproductive, neurological, and immune effects in mammals...

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Are honey bee colonies collapsing? Read what the European Commission has to say about it

Boissay 100414 033By Brandon Mitchener

A lot of stories circulate on the Internet and news about a “colony collapse disorder” (CCD) which is allegedly wiping out bee colonies worldwide. In fact, CCD is a real problem facing beekeepers in many places. But the causes aren’t necessarily those that you might have been led to believe they are.

The use of pesticides, in particular, has been blamed for the CCD phenomenon, particularly in Europe. But are they the culprit? And are the bees even dying in the numbers that bee-costumed environmentalists would have us all believe?

In response to a question from a member of the European Parliament, the European Commission earlier this month put things in perspective:

The Commission wishes to clarify that colony collapse disorder (CCD) is not a disease but a specific...

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Today, the European Commission proposed to let individual European Union governments opt out of trade in imports of genetically modified (GM) grain for use in food and animal feed.

A coalition of EU food and feed chain partners has rejected this proposal, which it says will impede trade, destroy jobs in Europe and generally wreak havoc in Europe and its trading partners.

Speaking on behalf of EU Food and Feed Chain partners, Pekka Pesonen, Copa-Cogeca Secretary General, warned the European Commission about the adverse economic and social impact of this proposal which was released today. “It will seriously threaten the Internal Market for food and feed products, causing substantial job losses and lower investment in the agri-food chain in ‘opt-out’ countries...

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