Corporate Europe Observatory

Exposing the power of corporate lobbying in the EU

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In whose hands is the future of bees?

 

en francais / espanol abajo

 

Bees and other pollinating insect numbers are falling dramatically, putting their future survival in jeopardy with catastrophic consequences for ecosystems and agriculture. In some European countries, bees are disappearing from the environment at a shocking rate of up to 20-32% a year . A number of factors are thought to be contributing to this decline, including the emergence of new viruses and the changing climate, but there are clear indications that modern agricultural practices, particularly the dominance of monoculture farming with its reliance on pesticides could be key.

 



Scientific evidence suggests that changes in farming practice could be leaving bee populations vulnerable to disease and parasites, increasing mortality rates – and that changes in the use of pesticides may even be responsible for the collapse of whole bee colonies. Improved testing and scrutiny of pesticide use is urgently needed – but in the European Union, this process appears to have been taken over by industry. The advisory groups responsible for drafting the guidelines on pesticide use are made up of corporate ‘experts’ from the pesticide industry.

 


This article looks at the situation faced by bees, the role of industry experts in determining risk assessments and the potential consequences for our food.

 

 

Read the full article (also in French and Spanish) here:

 

CEO turns the spotlight on another of the interest groups operating within the European Parliament.

The voice of the Dutch Government has been loud and clear in Brussels on the issue of cisgenic plants. The Dutch have waged a sustained campaign to have new GM techniques – and in particular cisgenesis – excluded from EU GMO regulations. Several Dutch ministries, the Dutch Parliament, the Dutch Permanent Representation in Brussels, and Dutch MEPs have energetically pursued this goal.

At least one developer of new GM crops – Canadian-based Cibus – has attempted to bypass the European policy process by presenting policy makers with a fait accompli: decisions by individual Member States on the regulatory status of new techniques, as well as prematurely-launched trials of new GM crops.

The biotech industry is staging an audacious bid to have a whole new generation of genetic engineering techniques excluded from European regulations. The pending decision of the European Commission on the regulation of these so-called 'new GMOs' represents a climax point in the ongoing below-the-radar attack by industry on GM laws.

The corporate lobby tour

Stop the Crop

Alternative Trade Mandate