GMO news related to Belgium

27.03.2017 |

Governments and citizens reject GMOs, Commission must follow – Greenpeace

Brussels – Today, national government representatives failed to support the approval of three genetically modified (GM) maize crops for cultivation in Europe: two new ones and the only GM crop currently grown in the EU.

While no qualified majority was reached, the number of rejections shows that GMO opposition clearly outweighs support. It was the second vote by national governments on the European Commission’s proposals to approve the three GM crops. The first vote, held in January 2017, had also failed to deliver a qualified majority. Therefore, it is now up to the Commission to take the final

Greenpeace EU food policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “When he was elected, Commission President Juncker promised more democratic decision-making. This vote leaves no doubt that approving these GM crops would break that promise. A majority of governments, parliamentarians and Europeans oppose them, and two thirds of European countries ban GMO cultivation on their lands. Instead of backing risky products peddled by multinational corporations, the Commission should support ecological farming and the solutions it provides for rural areas, farmers and the environment.”

24.03.2017 |

Glyphosate and the crucial battle for independent science

At its core, the political battle for transparency about the herbicide glyphosate is actually a battle for independent science and for the transparent and democratic functioning of the EU institutions, write five Greens/EFA MEPs

MEPs Heidi Hautala, Philippe Lamberts, Michèle Rivasi, Bart Staes and Benedek Jávor represent the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament.

Given the recent disclosure of the Monsanto Papers in an ongoing US court case on glyphosate, we took the initiative to write a letter to European Commission President Juncker on the issue today (24 March).

We are convinced that strong and truly independent European institutions like the EFSA (the food safety authority), EMA (the medicines agency) and ECHA (the chemicals agency) are crucial for defending public health and building public trust in the EU.

23.03.2017 |

Was Monsanto involved in EU glyphosate study?

Environmental organizations are accusing Monsanto of influencing the outcome of studies on the pesticide active ingredient, glyphosate. EU agencies have said it poses no risk of cancer to humans.

It's been a decades-long, controversial debate. Now environmental organizations are alleging that the chemical company, Monsanto, actively influenced studies on the risks and hazards of the pesticide active ingredient, glyphosate. Monsanto is said to have mislead regulators.

On Thursday (23.3.2017), a citizens' initiative called "Stop Glyphosate" publishes a 65-page report. The report "Glyphosate and cancer: Buying science" calls into question a number of scientific studies, accusing the researchers of conflicts of interest or that they are associated with Monsanto in some way.

These studies have been used by regulators in the US and EU to decide on the health risks involved in using the pesticide and herbicide agent. Those regulators include the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its European counterparts, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA).

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.

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