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Archives for Agriculture & Food

Why Worry About Sugar?

One of the last and worst bastions of the bad old common agricultural policy, the internationally infamous sugar policy, is it seems to be defended to the last euro of taxpayers’ budget contributions. While the building of European butterbergs, wheat mountains and wine lakes have been consigned to the history books, we still have sugar… » read more

A potential cooperation between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the agro-corporation Monsanto has thankfully not come to fruition. The case highlights the difficulties for a large development bank to reach farmers on the ground. posted on the Bankwatch blog by Pippa Gallop, Bankwatch’s research coordinator You may remember that in November 2012… » read more

Cutting down the range of non-agricultural entities which are currently able to claim EU farm income subsidies is one of the important positive changes in the operation of the European Union’s agriculture policy now being recommended by the European Parliament’s agriculture committee ( Com-Agri). The committee voted in favour of this and more than 30… » read more

Why the World Needs GM Crops

Anyone who has studied the science of genetic modification of food crops knows full well that they pose no threat to human health or wellbeing. Likewise, they also know that they have the potential to make a major contribution to increasing world food supplies. Most vitally, they could represent a means of increasing the food… » read more

By David Zaruk Mark Lynas, one of the principal strategists and drivers behind the environmental activism against GMOs, admitted that the anti-GMO campaigns he had led were not science-based, often anecdotal, and counter-productive. His recognition of the facts on GMOs, his regret for the anti-science tactics NGOs had used and his sincere apology exhibit an… » read more

The Battle over Gruyere Cheese

Gruyère cheese made in France is to now have holes, being different from the trademark Swiss Gruyère. A three year long battle had ensued about who owned the rights to produce the cheese. The makers of both the French Gruyère and the Swiss Gruyère claimed the mark of quality, the Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, an official… » read more

More Food Without More Land?

If an increasing world population is to be adequately fed, food production has to be increased. Estimates vary on just how big the increase has to be. They range between increases of 45-50 per cent on the optimistic side, to the worst case scenario of over 80 per cent by the mid-century. What most analysts… » read more

It is becoming ever clearer that there is no real intention on the part of the European Union’s agriculture ministers to agree any effective reforms of the EU agriculture policy. The Council of Agriculture ministers meeting at the beginning of this month indicated only too clearly that the final agreement for the 2014-20 MFF will… » read more

The current wrangle among EU agriculture ministers over the post-2014 agricultural budget is merely the latest act of the endless CAP fantasy which has been running since the early 1960s. It reflects the continual patching up of a policy which was fatally flawed from its very beginning. The CAP began as an attempt to keep… » read more

A draft proposal from the Commission to amend Directives 2009/30/EC and 2009/28/EC seems to attest a radical change in the promotion of biofuels in the European market, one of the most controversial fields of EU policy. The draft, leaked earlier in September, aims to address the adverse effects on food prices and land-use change resulting… » read more

The word “sustainability” can cover a multitude of interpretations, but when it comes to fisheries policy there is no ambiguity: today’s overfishing means tomorrow’s collapsing fish stocks. Until recently the Common Fisheries Policy has been a classic case of unsustainability, a stand-off between short term political pressures on the one hand and scientific evidence warning… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘EU to overhaul GM crop approval system‘: The European Coordination Via Campesina is dismayed at the proposal of the European Commission to restructure decision-making processes between the EU and member states, which will result in more GM crops being grown and used in Europe. The Commission’s proposal to allow countries to implement strict… » read more

To those unfamiliar with the arcane workings of the CAP it may seem strange that the French government supports its farm organisations in favouring the reduction of guaranteed income subsidies – even as a quid pro quo for greater market support and protection. Surely a substantial dab in the hand for doing nothing is worth… » read more

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