Blog Posts: Consumers

November 16th, 2015

Victory in the European Parliament: A U-turn On Fracking!

By Geert Decock

Food & Water Europe You Can't Frack HereSUMMARY: Ahead of the upcoming climate negotiations in Paris, our activists are helping turn the tide on fracking in Europe.

Earlier this month, as part of the Global Frackdown to Paris, we released a letter signed by over 1,250 groups in 64 countries, sending a strong signal to the world’s leaders that fracking and extreme energy extraction must not be part of any plan to tackle climate change that comes out of the international climate conference in Paris later this month.

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October 21st, 2015

Another Day, Another Distraction for the Human Right to Water

By David Sánchez

New Mantras, Old Problems

WaterIsAHumanRightThere is a new mantra in the EU water debate: transparency. The European Commission, after ignoring the nearly two million signatures asking for the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation, is trying to keep people busy by launching a number of bureaucratic initiatives, based on mantras like transparency.

But what does transparency mean? For many private water operators it seems that overflowing people with technical data can be enough. But If I think on what information is important to me, my first thoughts go the quality of the water I am drinking. I would also like to understand my water bill and my taxes, so I can know where my money is going. Is it being invested to improve water infrastructure? In measures to control pollution of our water resources? To guarantee the right to water of those facing economic problems? Or is it going to the shareholders of a multinational company?

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September 28th, 2015

Fracking in Romania: Gone, but Hardly Forgotten

By Marina Stefan, Romanian Anti-Fracking Activist

Food & Water Europe Romania FrackdownIn February 2015, oil and gas industry giant Chevron announced that they were suspending plans to begin fracking in Romania. But the fight for a ban on fracking in the country is far from over. Romanian anti-fracking activist Marina Stefan shares an update on the state of shale gas exploration in her country and what the future of drilling in Romania could look like.

New Players, New Fracking Permits

Despite Chevron’s retreat from fracking in Romania this past February, there is still an interest from the corporation and others to pursue the exploitation of our country’s natural resources. The ANRM (National Authority for Mineral Resources) has issued at least 16 permits for the exploration of shale gas to Chevron, NIS-Gazprom, MOL-Hungary, East West Petroleum, Clara Petroleum, Universal Premium and ADX.

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Two and a half million Europeans say, “Stop TTIP!”

By Eve Mitchell

Say no to TTIPThat’s a lot of people. Folks aren’t happy about TTIP. They’re right to worry.

Promises from politicians keep rolling in about how much we’ll all benefit, but it doesn’t add up – more exports can’t fix everyone’s economic problems. Big companies support TTIP, and they’ve got the lobbying power to back them up. Only 4 percent of EU Commission lobbying meetings surveyed were with public interest groups – 92 percent were with private sector lobbyists.

When it comes to TTIP, being big matters. Whatever they say in public, behind the scenes big business knows who will win, and who will lose, under TTIP. Even the UK Confederation of British Industry says TTIP gains for small- and medium-sized businesses are “hypothetical“. Big business is also perfectly happy if TTIP erodes our right to make new rules to protect us and our environment since it makes their jobs easier.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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