ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  13 November 2000

DISTURBING  NEWS:  MEPs  KNOBBLED  OVER  GMOs

1.    Press Release: Public Register for GMOs
2.    RICS Brussels Briefing

First item from Ingo, Norfolk Green Party.  Second item (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) via nlpwessex.

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1.    Press Release: Public Register for GMOs

Dear fellow campaigners

MEP’s in the EU parliament seem to want to change their mind on the subject of public information.  Please try and lobby your MEP and your MP.  It is vital  that previous votes stand and this drive to secrecy is resisted.

Ingo
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Press Release:  Public Register for GMOs - Brussels - 10 November 2000
THE  GREENS/EFA  IN  THE  EUROPEAN  PARLIAMENT  PRESS  RELEASE

GMO Directive-Negotiations under Threat - Socialists Refuse Public Access to GMO Data

Green/EFA Euro-MPs have expressed their anger at a change of attitude by their socialists colleagues after an all night debate between delegates of the European Parliament and of the Environment Council over the revision of  the GMO Directive 90/220.

They came together in an attempt to thrash out  their differences over whether there should be a Public Register of the  location of all commercial releases of GMOs,  as Parliament has demanded.

A Public Register would assist members of the public, including organic farmers threatened by genetic pollution to know whether their neighbours were growing approved GMO crops, what restrictions or controls were in force and  it would help to pin-point responsibility for any environmental damage or  unauthorised cultivation. Public access to data on the location of field  trials is already mandatory.

In an almost unbelievable scenario, 13 out of the 15 member states want to support this idea whilst the Parliament’s own delegation is getting cold feet. Under pressure from the agro-biotech industry, the Socialist Rapporteur David Bowe is now arguing that this demand is too burdensome and impractical  and that MEPs did not really know what they were doing when they voted for it  with an absolute majority of 315 votes in April this year.

Hiltrud Breyer MEP (Germany), the Greens/EFA delegate on the Conciliation Committee commenting after the negotiations were suspended for further reflection on both sides, said
“David Bowe appears to have forgotten that the amendment which was adopted by Parliament just over six months ago was actually presented in his name and  virtually the whole of his Socialist Group supported it.  Has he been  persuaded to change his mind or is his memory failing him?  A sizeable bloc of  the Christian Democrats also voted for it including the Chair of the Environment Committee Caroline Jackson, who also appears to have changed her mind.

“With the exception of the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands, all the member states are in favour of this move to greater transparency and yet key players in the Parliament’s delegation are trying to wriggle out of it.  I hope that the French Presidency, who are co-chairing the negotiations, will maintain  their pressure and force the Parliament to enact its own amendment.”

Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament
Helmut Weixler (press officer)
phone: 0032-2-284.4683  fax: 0032-2-284.4944  mobile phone: 0032-75-67 13 40
e-mail: hweixler@europarl.eu.int
website: www.europarl.eu.int/greens-efa

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2.    RICS Brussels Briefing 13.11.2000 [via nlpwessex]

Extraordinary things are happening as the European Parliament is hijacked by the biotech industry as outlined in the RICS report below.  The goings-on are even more bizzare given the content of the additional report below on the proposed European Food Agency which is supposed to be focused on a proactive ‘farm to fork’ food policy.

NATURAL LAW PARTY WESSEX
nlpwessex@bigfoot.com
www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex
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RICS Brussels Briefing 13.11.2000 - GMO records - Negotiations under Threat [extracts]

In a late night negotiating session in Brussels on Wednesday 8 November, delegates from the European Parliament met with representatives of the Environment Council to try to thrash out their differences over the revision of the GMO Directive 90/220.

One of the key issues is whether, as Parliament has demanded, there should be a Public Register of the location of all GM crops.  In an almost unbelievable scenario, 13 out of the 15 Member States want to support this idea whilst the Parliament’s own delegation is getting cold feet
.
Under pressure from the agro-biotech industry, the Rapporteur David Bowe is now arguing that this demand is too burdensome and impractical and that MEPs did not really know what they were doing when they voted for it with an absolute majority of 315 votes in April this year.

Paul Lannoye MEP (Belgium) President of the Greens/EFA Group commenting after the negotiations were suspended for further reflection on both sides, said “David Bowe appears to have forgotten that the amendment which was adopted by Parliament just over six months ago was actually presented in his name and virtually the whole of his Socialist Group supported it.  Has he been persuaded to change his mind or is his memory failing him?

A sizeable bloc of the Christian Democrats also voted for it including the Chair of the Environment Committee Caroline Jackson, who also appears to have changed her mind.” He added “With the exception of the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands, all the member states are in favour of this move towards greater transparency yet key players in the Parliament’s delegation are trying to wriggle out of it. I hope that the French Presidency, who are co-chairing the negotiations, will maintain their pressure and force the Parliament to enact its own amendment.”

The RICS is providing a briefing to the conciliation committee this week in favour of a public record for land used for GM crops.
From farm to table -proposal for a European Food Authority.
The European Commission has published a proposal for a Regulation, to be adopted by co-decision, laying down fundamental principles and requirements of food law and establishing a European Food Authority (EFA). The proposal is the centrepiece of the Commission’s strategy for a proactive food policy covering the entire food chain, from the farm to the fork. Its primary objective is to provide the basis for the assurance of a high level of protection of human life whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the internal market. The Commission hopes that the body will have about 250 staff and a budget of ?40 million within three years. The Commission will subsequently come forward with its proposal for the location of the EFA. Competition is rife amongst several European cities who are bidding to house the Authority.

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