Europe against GMO crops! Please, sign the Avaaz petition! I already did.
It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Biofuel subsidies, illegal fisheries and the fight with the pesticides

EU cuts back on biofuel crop subsidies

A special farm aid scheme aimed at developing Europe's energy crop sector will be scaled back, after it emerged that farmers have already massively shifted production towards biofuels, overshooting a two million hectare target, the Commission has announced.

The amount of land for which farmers may receive a subsidy of €45 per hectare (ha) in exchange for planting energy crops (such as rapeseed or sugar beet that can be processed into biofuels for cars or biomass for heating or electricity) will be reduced after the scheme proved too popular, the Commission said on 17 October.

The programme was introduced in 2004 as part of the reformed Common Agricultural Policy, in order to stimulate the European biofuels sector. At the time, just 0.31 million hectares were devoted to biofuel crops and the Commission hoped to raise this to 2.0 million hectares in 2007. But with applications already reaching 2.84 million hectares this year, the EU's €90 million budget is unable to cope.

The rush towards biofuels is also blamed for overstretching the EU's land availability and causing sharp price increases in basic food commodities such as milk and cereals However, the Commission insists that its biofuels policy will only put limited pressure on agricultural markets. source

My comment:Hell, yeah, they should cut those subsidies. Once the market is established, there is no need to stimulate it further and we still can't eat rapeseed! And I'm little bit concerned of possible import of G.Mo. rapeseed from USA, because these are one of the most modified seeds. I hope that never happen. Cuz once the contamination has started it would be so hard to stop it.

EU states face legal action over energy efficiency delays

The Commission has launched infringement proceedings against 12 member states for failing to deliver action plans on energy efficiency. France and Latvia face separate legal action over their failure to introduce legislation on buildings efficiency.

Energy efficiency improvements, particularly in buildings, are considered to be a cornerstone of EU efforts to fight climate change, and the EU has developed a series of legislative and other measures designed to reduce the amount of energy required to produce one unit of GDP growth.

These include a directive on energy end-use efficiency and energy services, which requires member states to draw up, by 30 June 2007, national action plans (NAPs) to achieve annual energy savings of 1% in the retail, supply and distribution of electricity, natural gas, urban heating and other energy products, including transport fuels.

But to date, only 15 member states have submitted their plans to the Commission, leading MEPs in Parliament's Industry Committee to conclude that EU countries have largely failed to realise their own commitments to reduce energy consumption (EurActiv 04/10/07).

The member states concerned are Belgium, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.source

My comment:No, just check out the countries! Isn't it ironic?Go, Alanis! I hope they make them pay and pay a lot! Because the fight with the Global Warming, can't be just in words, there should be working actions also!

EU to close market to illegal fisheries

The Commission has proposed tough measures to combat pirate fishing and thus protect fragile ecosystems in the high seas. Under the proposed new system, EU vessels would need to ask for permission to fish in waters not governed by international rules and importers would need to prove that their products are not a result of illegal action.

The Commission proposed, on 17 October 2007, a new strategy to strengthen the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

"We propose an innovative scheme that will require fishermen to obtain a special permit to operate in the find areas of the high seas. The member state concerned will deliver such permits only for areas that do not contain fragile ecosystems," he added. These fragile habitats include cold-water corals, hydrothermal vents, sea mounts and deep sea sponge beds, which are seriously damaged by practices such as bottom trawlingexternal .

The EU executive also proposes a specific blacklisting mechanism to ensure that third countries' vessels respect the marine environment. The aim is to identify those countries which carry out IUU and ban trade with them. source

My comment: I hope it works!

Parliament preparing for pesticide battle

The European Parliament will vote tomorrow (23 October) on a proposal to tighten pesticide usage and authorisation rules in Europe, as concerns grow over the impact of 'plant protection products'. But farmers and pesticide producers have expressed concern that the measures will lead to more red tape and remove harmless substances from the market.

The pesticides package presented by the Commission in July 2006 proposes a regulation to update a 1991 directive on the market authorisation of plant protection products (pesticides), and a directive that covers the day-to-day use of pesticides.

Despite the controversies surrounding the dossier, most parties seem to agree on the need for an EU-wide system for the authorisation of substances used in pesticides, given the complications involved in having 27 different authorisation regimes.

The regulation outlines a widely-endorsed two-step system, whereby a 'positive list of active substances' (ingredients used in the production of pesticides) is established at European level. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and a committee of experts from the member states are to provide scientific guidance.

Once the list is established, it will be up to member states to then authorise the production of individual pesticides using the approved substances.

At issue in the debate is the criteria for approving substances and the kinds of substances banned from authorisation. MEPs in the ENVI Committee want to add potentially neurotoxic and immunotixic pesticides to the Commission's proposed list of banned substances on the basis of their "intrinsic" risk to humans. source

My comment: I think there should be very severe requirements to new products. Not because i'm anti-innovative, but because humans are not lab. mice and we can't experiment with our health. I say make it 10 years of approval period and then decide if it's good or bad. But then, I see very strong lobby from the other side of the void. Bad. Very bad.

No comments:


blogger templates 3 columns