GMO news related to Belgium

14.03.2017

ECHA response heightens rather than alleviates conflict of interest concerns

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is due to publish a safety assessment of glyphosate, a controversial weedkiller linked to cancer by the WHO. Twenty health and environmental organisations expressed concerns regarding conflicts of interest and transparency at the agency. The executive director's response fails to address these concerns.

This page was updated on 14 March to include a second letter from ECHA to Greenpeace dated 10 March.

According to ECHA's own standards, the chairman and two members of the Risk Assessment Committee appear to breach the agency’s own conflict of interest rules. NGOs also criticise ECHA’s practice of basing assessments on unpublished industry studies.

13.03.2017

Ban glyphosate and protect people and the environment from toxic pesticides

Glyphosate, the main ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup, is Europe's most heavily used weedkiller. Traces have been found in food, drinks and even in people’s urine. RIGHT NOW European leaders must take this opportunity - to protect people and the environment.

Take the first step to stop Glyphosate!

03.03.2017

ECI glyphosate petition herbicide agriculture farmers

Alongside numerous organisations from all over Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory supports the European Citizens Initiative #StopGlyphosate. You can sign the petition at the bottom of this page. We hope to collect signatures from at least one million EU citizens to urge the European Commission to propose the following to national governments:

Ban Glyphosate-based herbicides

The exposure to these has been linked to cancer in humans, and has led to ecosystems degradation. Glyphosate is still one of Europe’s most widely used pesticides, and its negative impacts on the environment and biodiversity are clearly documented. In addition, a growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that glyphosate is also a serious threat to human health. EU Regulation 1107/2009 prohibits the use of pesticides when there is sufficient evidence in laboratory animals that these substances can cause cancer, based on IARC criteria. Therefore, the EU approval for glyphosate must be withdrawn.

#StopGlyphosate

02.03.2017

Say no to GMO: Tell your Ministries to block 3 genetically modified maize from entering EU fields!

Do you want GMOs in the EU’s fields? If not, tell your Minister now to block them!

Mid-March, the European Commission will propose to the Member States’ experts to allow two GM maize varieties (Bt11 from Syngenta and 1507 from Dupont) and to renew the authorization of one further variety- Mon 810 from Monsanto.

If enough member states’ experts are not voting against, there is a high risk that these regulations will pass, even though a clear majority of EU citizens is against the use of biotechnologies in fields and food. These GM maize would then be cultivated in the fields of several EU countries, and probably contaminate fields of neighboring countries.

The member states have the possibility to STOP GMOs from the fields NOW. If they are serious about environment and food safety they have no reason to hesitate! There are ample reasons not to allow GM cultivation in the EU. Tell your Minister that he/she has the choice to make the difference!

23.02.2017

Four months to #StopGlyphosate

Earlier this month, Corporate Europe Observatory joined a broad pan-European coalition in launching a European Citizens Initiative (ECI) to ban glyphosate and improve the weak EU pesticides approval procedure. We hope this builds enough public pressure on the European Commission and national governments, including the UK government, that they take into account our concerns when they decide whether or not to relicence glyphosate in June (and under what conditions).

The broad-spectrum plant-killer glyphosate (trademarks: Roundup, Weedol...) has been in the news over the past two years, in particular because of an unusual public conflict that erupted between the EU's food safety agency (EFSA) and the World Health Organisation's cancer research department (IARC) on whether the substance causes cancer in humans, and at which dose. Given that glyphosate is the most widely-used weed-killer, this is a serious question for farm workers and gardeners, but also for consumers and everyone who lives in cities where it is still used it to kill unwanted plants in streets, school playgrounds and public parks.

15.02.2017

Activists keep justice afloat as CETA threatens to sink democracy

Campaigners warn EU-Canada trade deal is surrender to corporate takeover

Press release

Strasbourg/Brussels – Eleven activists kept a sinking statue of lady justice afloat in the icy waters surrounding the European Parliament in Strasbourg, ahead of a crucial vote on a controversial EU-Canada trade and investment protection deal.

Photos and video available for download soon.

Activists will stay in the water until the vote.

Environment, health and labour rights campaigners warn that the deal – known as CETA – would hand corporations the power to sue governments and threatens laws that protect nature, public health and social rights.

The swimmers (from France and Germany), wearing survival suits and supported by activists in three inflatable boats, urged members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to reject the deal and displayed banners in English, French, German and Dutch. The English banner read: “Sink CETA, not justice”.

15.02.2017

Deal puts interests of big business first

The European Parliament has today (15 Feb) voted in favour of CETA. Commenting on the vote, Greens/EFA trade spokesperson Yannick Jadot said:

"This is a defeat for the EU and for the prospect of regulating globalization by putting human and social rights and the environment ahead of the interests of big businesses. A majority of MEPs, including the EPP, Liberals and many from the S&D, have shown themselves to be deaf to the well-grounded concerns of civil society, employees, consumers, local authorities, SMEs, lawyers and citizens.

"The European Parliament has failed to learn the lessons from the Brexit vote and Trump victory and has increased the power of the multinationals at the expense of citizens. Let's not forget, CETA was negotiated by former Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper, a well-known climate sceptic, and former Commissioner De Gucht, who had various business interests. This conflict of interest laid the ground for an agreement built by, and for, big businesses.

27.01.2017

EU: no member state licensing for the three GMO cultures

On Friday, the representatives of the 28 EU member states refused to authorise the cultivation of three genetically modified seeds.

They have also refused to sign up to the seeds' prohibition. The member states decided to leave this decision in the hands of the European Commission, the latter says.

The vote was organised by the European Executive within a specific technical committee. This is the first of its kind, since new legislation adopted in 2015 came into force. This allowed member states to request prohibition in all or part of their particular state of GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) culture.

Seventeen member states (Bulgaria, Germany, Cyprus, Latvia, Greece, Croatia, France, Austria, Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Italy, Slovenia, Malta, Luxembourg and Denmark) have thus decided to refuse GMO culture. Equally so have four regions, being Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Wallonia.

27.01.2017

Commission in hot water as EU governments fail to support GM crops in Europe

27 JANUARY 2017

Today, EU governments opposed the European Commission's proposal to authorise the first new GM crops for cultivation since 1998, but failed to achieve the necessary majority for the proposal to be formally shelved.

Governments voted on a proposal to authorise two new strains of GM maize, and the reauthorisation of the one strain of GM maize that is currently grown in the EU.

A majority of national governments rejected the proposal but failed to get the qualified majority necessary to ban the GM crops outright. It is now up to the Commission to decide whether to reject the three crops or table another with governments.

27.01.2017

Commission fails to muster support for 3 GMOs

Press release - January 27, 2017

Brussels – National government representatives voting today did not provide the support needed by the European Commission to approve two new genetically modified (GM) crops and extend approval of the only GM crop currently grown in the EU. The vote shows that the Commission is a long way from achieving the qualified majority needed for the approval of the three pesticide-producing GM maizes.

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “Today’s vote is a clear sign that there is still no appetite for GM crops in Europe. Most countries failed to support the Commission’s proposals, despite the fact that they can now ban their cultivation nationally. Given the widespread opposition to GM crops among EU citizens and parliamentarians, the Commission would be blind to interpret this as a green light. GM crops are nothing but a prop for the harmful, intensive agriculture that is promoted by agrochemical companies. Europe should turn the page on GMOs once and for all, and focus its efforts on the urgently needed shift to ecologically sound farming.”

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