Blog Posts: Consumers

June 16th, 2015

Europe is Not for Shale!

By Geert Decock

Join the Global Frackdown

I wish that I could say that I planned it this way. The World Gas Union recently gathered in Paris, where ExxonMobil CEO Tillerson blasted European Union countries that have adopted a ban or a moratorium on fracking. And at the exact same time, activists from around Europe gathered in Brussels to share a very different message at the “Europe is Not for Shale” conference. Alas! It was a lucky coincidence. Planned or not, the two concurrent events provided a nice contrast between the pro-gas corporate roadshow in Paris and the grassroots efforts to resist fracking occurring in Brussels.

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 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…

April 24th, 2015

More Broken Promises about Democracy over GMOs

By Eve Mitchell

We say no to GMO

Another day, another disappointment about genetically modified (GM) food to fire us up. So be it.

Followers of our GM woes here in the EU may remember that the hard-won scientific underpinning of our laws on GM food and crops have been slowly undermined over the past few years, and our confidence in our food system further eroded at each step. Non-GM animal feed can now contain up to 0.9% GM material, which doesn’t feel like “non-GM” at all, and some want to apply a similar contamination level to food now, too. The central system for authorising new GM crops now enables countries to ban (sorry, “opt out”) of approved crops, confusing the pan-EU Single Market and annoying both citizens and the GM industry in one go. Honey can now contain GM pollen, but you have no way of knowing if it’s in the jar on your table. Read the full article…

April 17th, 2015

Europe’s TTIP Charm Offensive

By Eve Mitchell

Say no to TTIPIf you believe the sales pitch, this TTIP thing is too good to be true. Just ask EU Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom. Her speeches around Europe are peppered with examples of alleged “wins” designed to convince us it’s a good deal. I’m not buying it, and neither should you. 

The themes the Commissioner is peddling are pretty easy to spot. Malmstrom is clear the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership will make us richer by giving us more lucrative jobs under better governments with stronger economies in an apparent Shangri-la of international cooperation where “we stay well away from areas where we don’t agree” (like GM food and crops). Read the full article…

April 10th, 2015

Democracy Over GMOs – Digging in For The Long Haul

Food & Water Europe Let Me Decide Say No To GM CropsBy Eve Mitchell

Now that EU Member States can ban genetically modified (GM) crops (and they should) we’re digging in to get the next big change we need – democratic control over GM authorisations. Read the full article…

April 8th, 2015

Trust us. We’re scientists.

By Eve Mitchell

CorporateControlFoodWaterEuropeIt isn’t hard to figure out why giant drug, seed and agrichemical conglomerates play such a big role in the science surrounding their controversial products and practices.

Industry-funded studies routinely produce results favourable to industry, far more so than independent work, and companies need these favourable studies to gain regulatory approval, win market confidence or, just as often, fend off claims that their products are unsafe. The results aren’t pretty. The tobacco industry used to claim that cigarettes were good for you. Right now a cancer link to Monsanto’s world-beating weedkiller glyphosate is unfolding after decades of “science”-backed use as a “safe” product. Read the full article…

March 31st, 2015

UK Sells Off Fera, Privatizes Public Science

By Eve Mitchell

Our government is increasingly outsourcing its operations.  The latest is a private deal to run Fera. It's foolish by any standard but it's no April Fools' joke.

Our government is increasingly outsourcing its operations. The latest is a private deal to run Fera. It’s foolish by any standard but its’ no April Fools’ joke.

The UK Government is celebrating April Fool’s Day by selling off another big piece of our national family silver, and the joke is very much on us. Read the full article…

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…

February 23rd, 2015

Fracking Scorecard: Shale Gas In Retreat In The European Union

By Geert Decock 

Which country will stand against fracking next?

France. Belgium. Scotland. Wales. We’ve got a slew of wins against fracking to acknowledge and celebrate. But we cannot rest on our laurels. The profiteers are working to keep their dirty and dangerous fracking operations active and they will continue to do so until we work together to make sure there is a complete ban in Europe and beyond!

Those of us following the debate on fracking in Europe are probably aware that France and Bulgaria already banned fracking, in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Big Oil & Gas has challenged these bans, even all the way up to the Constitutional Court in France. But these bans on fracking are still standing. This is a testament to how strong public opinion rejects fracking for shale gas. So far, no other Member State has moved to also ban fracking in their national law.

However, that does not necessarily mean that shale gas is advancing elsewhere. Quite the contrary: Over the few months, a slew of new moratoriums on fracking has come in effect. It started in the summer of 2014, when the regional Flemish government decided that – in the absence of some minimal rules and administrative capacity on fracking – there would be a moratorium for the exploration and production of fossil fuels that require fracking. In December 2014, the Dutch Parliament also voted in favour of another extension of an earlier moratorium, at least until the end of the current government of Prime Minister Rutte. This means that there may be no fracking in the Netherlands until mid-2017. Read the full article…

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