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Photo: Troed-Y-Rhiw Farm via Facebook.

To support 'green' farming, officials must learn that small is beautiful

Alicia Miller / Sustainable Food Trust.

16th June 2015

It's a hard life being an organic farmer, writes Alicia Miller - and specially when it comes to engaging with a bureaucracy that's trying to 'green' our agriculture. Should small scale farmers change their farming practices to fit in with it? Or the other way round?
more...
A TTIP flashmob event in Hamburg - one of many protests that have won over popular opinion, and increasiongly, that of MEPs. Photo: Campact via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Cancelled: the EU's great TTIP debate that never was

Nick Dearden

10th June 2015

A long scheduled vote on the TTIP was suddenly postponed in the European Parliament today, writes Nick Dearden. Officially, this was because there were 'too many amendments'. But in reality TTIP backers smelt defeat and ducked the democratic test. more...
The Dalmatian pelican suffered large declines in the last centuries due to habitat loss and degradation and persecution, but thanks to habitat management and restoration the population in Europe is recovering and the species is no longer at risk. Photo: B

One fifth of Europe's birds are in danger of extinction

The Ecologist

3rd June 2015

Conservation projects have pulled several endangered European birds back from the brink of extinction, but habitat loss, industrial farming, over fishing and climate change all represent growing threats that requires broader and deeper change in the EU and beyond. more...
Slieve Gallion in the Sperrin Mountains of County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, at risk from a proposed gold mine. Photo: SHANLISS_SNAPPER via Flickr (CC BY).

EU nature laws are essential to fight off wildlife attacks in Northern Ireland

Andy Atkins

26th June 2015

Northern Ireland shows just how much we need the EU's laws protecting nature, writes Andy Atkins - and for the Government to enforce them. The province's wonderful natural heritage is at risk from aggressive and often unlawful developments. And the EU nature laws are essential for us to fight off a host of threats - among them sand dredging, gold mining, road-building and over-fishing. more...
Mursi tribal member, Omo Valley, by Rod Waddington via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Stopping the corporate power grab - it's not all just about TTIP

Alex Scrivener / Global Justice Now

20th May 2015

Thanks to TTIP the corporate drive for free trade is once more facing critical public scrutiny, writes Alex Scrivener. But in the rush to oppose TTIP we mustn't lose sight of the context in which the deal is being negotiated - the hundreds of bilateral treaties that give corporations the right to sue in secret 'trade courts'. more...
STOP TPP Overpass Light Brigade San Diego. Photo: Syd Stevens / Backbone Campaign via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

US Senators just knocked a wheel off TPP and TTIP. Now let's finish the job!

Nick Dearden

13th May 2015

A Senate vote yesterday to deny President Obama 'fast track' authority in negotiating TPP and TTIP looks like the beginning of the end for these trade deals and their secret corporate courts, writes Nick Dearden. Now it's up to Europeans to make sure the EU Parliament votes against TTIP in a crucial vote next month. more...
Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) at RSPB Medmerry, West Sussex England. Photo: BiteYourBum.Com Photography via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

We must defend Europe's wildlife laws!

Martin Harper

12th May 2015

Europe's most important laws for wildlife, the EU's Nature Directives, are under threat in from a recently launched 'review', writes Martin Harper. The official purpose is to make the laws more effective, but in reality it's all part of the Commission's agenda to strip away regulations that impede business in its pursuit of profit. more...
Hares beware - a early action of the new Conservative government is expected to be a repeal of the Hunting with Dogs Act, opening the way to hare-coursing in the English countryside. Photo: oneshotonepic via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Green crap is coming our way - so let's be prepared!

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2015

As Cameron appoints his cabinet, we had better get prepared for the 'green crap' that's about to be unleashed on us, writes Oliver Tickell - the return of fox-hunting, badger-culling, road building and nuclear power, the arrival of GM food and crops, more cuts to wind and solar power and the underfunding of home insulation. more...
IPV vaccination scene at Yokohama City University Medical Center, Japan. Photo: Sanofi Pasteur / Aiko Kawamura via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Mandatory vaccination would violate our human rights

Anna Watson / EFVV

5th May 2015

We all have the human right to freedom of informed medical consent, writes Anna Watson. However this right is violated in 40% of EU countries which impose mandatory vaccination under threat of fines or imprisonment. Now health campaigners are petitioning the EU to protect and promote citizens' right to make their own informed medical choices. more...
Photo: Coca Cola sign on the San Francisco skyline by .freeside. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

EU's 'trade secret' protection risks health, environment and freedom!

Anne Friel & Anaïs Berthier / ClientEarth

10th June 2015

A new Trade Secrets law to be voted on next week by the European Parliament threatens a massive clampdown on journalists and whistle-blowers, write Anne Friel & Anaïs Berthier, giving corporations the right to sue those who disclose private information even in the public interest to protect health, safety and environment. more...
Something to celebrate: an orangutan swings through the jungle near Bukit Lawang in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo: Nick Leonard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Orangutans' reprieve: EuroParl votes to limit biofuels

The Ecologist

28th April 2015

Rainforests around the world and the wildlife they sustain have a rosier future after the European Parliament voted to limit the growth of biofuels such as palm oil in the transport sector. more...
The signing of the EU's new GMO law on 11th March 2015 in Strasbourg with EuroParl President Martin Schulz and Zanda Kalnina Lukasevica, Latvian Parliamentary State Secretary for the European Affairs. Photo: European Union 2014 (CC BY-NC-ND).

Can EU countries really be GMO-free? The new GM food law won't make it easy

Mary Dobbs

25th May 2015

In principle the EU's new rules on GMOs allow member states to opt out of GMO crops and foods, writes Mary Dobbs. But they can only do so on very limited grounds, and in a consistent and non-discriminatory way. Being GM-free may be a lot harder than some countries, and campaigners, suppose. more...

EU: 1/25 of 251
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Now these Norwegian protestors against Monsanto are more likely to get their way, following the GMO 'national opt-out' proposals set out by EuroComm. Photo: Caroline Hargreaves via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

EuroComm proposes EU country opt-outs on GMO foods

Euractiv

23rd April 2015

The European Commission has proposed new rules on foods derived from GMOs that would allow EU countries to opt out from the Europe-wide approval system - a move that has attracted strong criticism from all parties in the GMO debate. more...
Participants on the April 2015 EU Lobbyland tour of Brussels. Photo: Corporate Observatory Europe.

Exposing the secrets of the EU's corporate Lobbyland

David Lundy & Olivier Hoedeman, Corporate Europe Observatory

28th April 2015

Brussels is a city of ruthless, well-resourced corporate lobbyists. And unlike ordinary EU citizens, they enjoy priviliged access to officials, negotiators and parliamentarians, and are used to getting their own way. That's a state of affairs that David Lundy & Olivier Hoedeman are determined to end with their 'citizens tours' of EU Lobbyland ... more...
Conditions in US factory farms are even worse than those in the EU. Now will MEPs vote to make the higher of EU and US standards apply under TTIP? Or the lower? Photo: Farm Sanctuary via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

TTIP: Europe's food, farms and animals at risk from EuroParl backroom deal

Molly Scott Cato MEP

13th April 2015

MEPs vote tomorrow on Green measures to ensure that TTIP 'harmonisation' on food and farming means applying the highest standards, not the lowest, writes Molly Scott Cato. But will MEP's put farmers, food and animals before corporate profit? more...
It's estimated that 70% of food products in US supermarkets contain GMO ingredients. With TTIP, things could soon go the same way in the UK and other European countries. Photo:  Jaro Larnos via Flickr (CC BY).

TTIP could soon bring GM foods to UK supermarket shelves

Linda Kaucher

2nd April 2015

Thanks to pro-GMO politicans and lobbying by powerful agribusiness interests the UK and other EU countries may soon find supermarket shelves flooded with GM foods, both imported and home grown, writes Linda Kaucher. We must press parliamentary candidates now to defend us from this serious and long-term debasement of our food and farming. more...
Photo: Tori Rector via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Wikileaks papers reveal TPP's huge corporate giveaway

EurActiv

29th March 2015

Leaked papers reveal that the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal would represent a historic transfer of power and money from the US and other governments to corporations. more...
Beware what lies beneath! Green / EFA MEPs supporting hundreds of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 4th February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP: MPs demand transparency and 'right to regulate'

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

British MPs have rebuked the government for its secretive and apathetic response to public concerns over the TTIP EU-US trade deal, demanding that nations' 'right to regulate' for health, environment and the wider public interest must stand at the heart of any future agreement. more...
Whale watching off Digby's Neck, Nova Scotia, where Bilcon wants to site a massive basalt quarry. Now Canada must pay Bilcon as much as $300 million following a NAFTA judgment that the company's right to profit comes before cetacean survival. Photo: Reigh

Profits before whales! To know why TTIP would be a nightmare, look to Canada

Nick Dearden

26th March 2014

A series of judgments against Canada in secret corporate tribunals costing taxpayers $100s of millions show that 'free trade' agreements really do restrict governments' right to protect health, environment and endangered species, writes Nick Dearden. more...
Seed saving in Malawi: farmer Maria Banda's cupped hands holding cowpea seeds. Photo: Stephen Greenberg / ACBIO.

Grabbing Africa's seeds: USAID, EU and Gates Foundation back agribusiness seed takeover

Stephen Greenberg & Oliver Tickell

23rd March 2015

The latest salvo in the battle over Africa's seed systems has been fired, writes Stephen Greenberg, with the Gates Foundation and USAID playing puppet-masters to Africa's governments - now meeting in Addis Ababa - as they drive forward corporation-friendly seed regulations that exclude and marginalize the small farmers whose seeds and labour feed the continent. more...
A pack of Bayer's 'Calypso' pesticide that contains the bee-toxic neonicotinoid Thiacloprid, complete with the 'not harmful to bees' logo - as sold in Germany.

Bees victory in pesticide battle - Bayer libel action dismissed

Oliver Tickell

12th March 2015

Chemical giant Bayer has failed in its attempt to sue Friends of the Earth Germany over its claims that its pesticide Thiacloprid harms bees. Now pressure is growing on the EU to add the neonicotinoid to the three already banned. more...
In happier times, a Kwegu family on a maize field next to the Omo river. Photo: via Survival International.

Ethiopia: Kwegu tribe starves, victims of dam and land grabs

Oliver Tickell

13th March 2015

The Kwegu people of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are facing starvation because of the loss of their land to a huge sugar plantation, the destruction of their forest and the damming of the Omo river - supported by a UK, EU and World Bank funded 'aid' program. more...
RWE's brown coal-burning Kraftwerk Weisweiler Langerwehe, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Photo: Oliver Wald via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Coal industry setting its own air pollution standards

Kyla Mandel / DeSmog UK

11th March 2015

Coal is Europe's biggest source of mercury and sulphur pollution, writes Kyla Mandel, killing tens of thousands of people a year. So how come more than half the members appointed by EU governments to set air pollution standards for coal plants are industry representatives? more...
A female Blackcap caught in a mistnet on the UK's Cyprus military base. Photo: Graham Madge / RSPB.

UK allows songbird slaughter on Cyprus military base

The Ecologist

9th March 2015

The illegal killing of songbirds on the UK's military base on Cyprus has reached record levels, a study by RSPB has shown, with an estimated 900,000 birds trapped, killed and eaten in autumn 2014. more...
Building Hinkley C will damage renewable energy projects like this: Greenpeace Energy's Buchhain wind park. Photo: © Marc-Oliver Schulz / Greenpeace Energy eG.

Greenpeace Energy to launch legal challenge to UK nuclear subsidies

Oliver Tickell

5th March 2015

The UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear power station faces a legal challenge from Germany's biggest energy co-op, which claims that the subsidy package will distort energy markets across Europe and disadvantage renewable generators and vendors. more...

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