Blog Posts: Activism

September 22nd, 2015

How Far Will Cameron Push Fracking?

By Eve Mitchell

Ban FrackingPlanning just got sexy.

Well, ok, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but planning just took centre stage in the fight against fracking in the UK, so we need to sit up and do something about it.

I normally talk about food (cloning and GM crops and such), but I live in the UK, and I’m worried about fracking. Just when the rest of Europe is figuring out that it doesn’t work economically, the UK charges full steam ahead. Why we are risking our countryside, our farming (with its billions in food exports) and who knows what else on such a bad deal I don’t know.

Read the full article…

September 16th, 2015

What a Shame – The UK MEPs Who Failed on Clone Ban

By Eve Mitchell

PierreVicaryFoodWaterEuropeBanCloningTaFIt’s hard to shock me anymore, and I knew that the UK was causing problems over a ban on cloning for food, but even I was surprised at how bad it is. It is more important than ever for us to keep up our pressure to make the UK change course.

On 8 September the European Parliament voted overwhelmingly, again, for a full ban on cloning for food (529 in favour of a ban, 120 against). This is superb news and a testament to the hard work over many years of the MEPs fighting in our corner.

Read the full article…

September 3rd, 2015

“I Believe We Should Protect our Food Supplies.” Ban Cloning Now.

By Eve Mitchell

BanCloningBlogFoodandWaterEuropeJoeStonerNoClonesBanCloningFBHere’s what Lionel Burman of Wirral said: “Eating wholesome food is important to me. I would not undermine my health by eating junk food and I would never – ABSOLUTELY NEVER – serve cloned food to my family. I believe we should protect our food supplies. Ban cloning now.”

From the Highlands of Scotland to Bishopsteignton in Devon, people tell us over and over again they simply want cloning for food banned. They have lots or reasons.

Frances Sinclair of East Kilbride says, “I won’t serve cloned food to my family because I want them to be healthy and to be respectful of nature and the natural cycles of life. Food is so important to health and well being, not only ours, but the environment’s.”

You’ve heard the stats and the logic and the rest from me already. Cloning is cruel, it’s unwanted and it’s unnecessary. Now the crucial vote in the European Parliament seeking a ban on cloning for food is set for 8 September, and parallel discussions are taking place in the European Council. We need as many people as possible to tell decision-makers to vote for a full ban on clones, their descendants and imports to keep them out of the European food chain and off your dinner table. Since the Commission wants to let food from the descendants of clones into the food chain and refuses to consider labelling it, we really do need to get this right.

Read the full article…

No Summer Rest for Water Activists

By David Sánchez

FoodandWaterEuropeHumanRight2Water

What a summer! I was expecting the typical Brussels holiday season: empty streets in the European area, hardly any emails, no phone calls and, as the only sound around, the hypnotizing noise of wheeled suitcases while thousands flee the city. But I was wrong, a lot of activity around!

Read the full article…

August 19th, 2015

Fracking and Europe: Shale Fail & Preparing for The 2015 Global Frackdown to Paris

Post Summer Wrap-up on Fracking in Europe

By Geert Decock

Global Frackdown to ParisDid you go ‘unplugged’ this summer, when you were walking in the mountains or hitting the beaches? Were you not checking the World Wide Web for the latest news on fracking, shale gas, unconventional oil and gas?

Not to worry, this blog will catch you up in no time.

The summer of 2015 was barely underway when the Dutch government decided that there will be no commercial shale exploration before 2020. The Dutch government first wants to get a clearer view on the transition of the Netherlands to a zero-carbon energy mix. Once the post-2020 energy mix of the Netherlands is better understood, a decision will be made whether the moratorium on shale gas continues. In any case, the licences that had been awarded to the exploration company Cuadrilla were cancelled.

Read the full article…

August 14th, 2015

Scotland’s GM Ban Calls Everyone’s Bluff

By Eve Mitchell

Act to to Ban GM crops

Act to to Ban GM crops

Having had a few days to mull over Sunday’s announcement by Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs Richard Lochhead that Scotland will invoke the EU’s new opt-out mechanism to ban genetically modified (GM) crops, the cleverness of the move continues to impress. In one sense it’s merely a reiteration of Scotland’s long-standing ban on GM crops (a position shared with Welsh and Northern Irish administrations, all of whom have devolved power – full authority over – their agriculture), but that doesn’’t tell half the story.

Formally speaking, Scotland will now ask the (pro-GM) UK Government to ask the European Commission to ask any company seeking approval for a GM crop in Europe to exclude Scotland from said approval under the mechanism introduced earlier this year. It will also use the new law to ask for an opt-out of crops already authorised or in the approvals queue. Democratically-elected governments having to go cap-in-hand to GM companies for permission not to grow their products is, of course, a democratic outrage, but it’s not the only one.

Read the full article…

June 12th, 2015

Cloning For Food: The Answer Is Still “Forget It!”

By Eve Mitchell

What We Say About CloningCloning is one of those political battles that shows how hard our political leadership can try to keep ethics at arm’s length by wearing us down until we give up. It’s been going on for years. Unlike some fights, this one is very easy to understand.

The European Parliament stands firm in supporting the public’s ethical rejection of cloning as a cruel and unnecessary process that has no place in our food system. Even official EU figures show that Europeans roundly reject clones for food. The Parliament demands a full ban on the products of cloning in the food chain.

The great cloning tug of war is still on, and we need to give the rope another good pull. Act now. Read the full article…

May 19th, 2015

Water Privatization, Corruption and Elections in Spain

By David Sánchez

Food & Water Europe: 2015 Elections in SpainSpain is holding regional and local elections this Sunday. As a Spanish immigrant in Belgium, and a water activist, this week my attention will be split between the activity in Brussels and the elections, which will be an important milestone in the struggle for public water in Europe.

These elections are really special because Spain is a country going through an extremely long crisis. Its economy and welfare state have been destroyed by austerity policies, while the political parties that ruled the country for decades are involved in a series of corruption scandals. As a reaction, many citizen movements have organized to run for the elections, and remunicipalization of public services, including water, is one of their key targets. Read the full article…

May 11th, 2015

Just One Vote Short!

By Geert Decock

FoodandWaterEuropeOneVoteShortBanFrackingQuick newsflash! Some Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were given the opportunity to take a clear stance on fracking on May 7. They could vote in favour or against an amendment (nr 366) that called for an immediate moratorium on fracking in the EU, urging Member States not to authorise any new unconventional hydraulic fracturing operations in the EU. We are thrilled to report that – of the 60 Members of the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee – half of them (30!) voted in favour of this amendment.

This is the closest that the movement to stop fracking has ever come to getting (part of) an institution of the European Union endorsing a moratorium, and shows that political support for fracking and shale gas in the European Parliament is crumbling. And this is the Parliament’s Industry committee, which is usually in favour of ‘business’ – and by business, we mean Big Business like Big Oil & Gas. Read the full article…

March 31st, 2015

When Brussels Met the Real World: The Fight for The Right2Water

By David Sánchez

FoodandWaterEuropeRight2WaterRuling a whole continent should not be easy. Even more complicated when you do it from a city like Brussels, where it is relatively simple to lose track of the reality beyond the “Brussels bubble“, a closed environment crowded by a highly educated, well-paid elite of civil servants, politicians and lobbyists. Read the full article…

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