Blog Posts

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…

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…

March 25th, 2015

Who Is Really Cozying Up to Gazprom? The Answer May Surprise You

By Geert Decock

Food & Water Europe will organise the Global Frackdown.

Coming at the end of 2015, the fourth Global Frackdown.

It’s a claim that has been repeated again and again, always without a shred of evidence. Former NATO Secretary-General Rasmussen said that Russia is infiltrating environmental organisations working against shale gas to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. Some so-called experts have described European groups that campaign for a ban on fracking as “[w]ell-organized and well-funded”, even claiming that anti-fracking groups were able to pay for advertising campaigns with billboards to spread their message. Our reply has always been that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence – for example, evidence of an exchange of views between Gazprom officials, Russian diplomats and our supporters. Read the full article…

March 17th, 2015

Join Me at the Right2Water Protest

Join the Right2Water Movement

By David Sánchez 

This is BIG.

The Right2Water movement is growing.

It’s easy to see why – the goals are clear:

1. Guaranteed water and sanitation for all in Europe.

2. No privatisation of water services.

3. Universal access to water and sanitation for all.

On 23 March 2015, people will come from across Europe to mobilise in Brussels. Our mission is to remind the European Commission that they work for us and not for corporations!

This is a critical time to gather and speak out. We gathered 2 million signatures but the European Commission did nothing. And the European Parliament is preparing a resolution in defense of the human right to water.

I’ll be there on 23 March, chanting, “We want the Human Right to Water and we want it now!”

Will you join me?

Learn more and RSVP to attend.

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