EU hits deadlock on the future of glyphosate a month before deadline

Copyright: European Union , 2017; Source: EC - Audiovisual Service; Photo: Frank Molter

Last week, European Union member states failed to agree on whether to re-licence controversial herbicide glyphosate in the bloc, and so to close a long-standing dispute over the world’s biggest-selling weedkiller. In a vote held last Thursday, the European Commission fell short again of the majority needed to renew the licence for another five years, […]

Menu for change: why we have to go towards a Common Food Policy

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Carlo Petrini, founder and President of Slow Food, a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions and counteract the rise of fast food culture. The opinion expressed in this piece belongs strictly to the writer and does not necessarily […]

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

Donald Trump, the real estate mogul and TV reality show star, as President, discovered the hard way that international trade is a much more complicated issue than he could have ever imagined. His poor cognitive abilities and his rampant nature didn’t allow him to realize that international trade is a much more complex issue, than […]

Bayer-Monsanto merger: the story of the rise of the “endless company”

When about two weeks ago the world learnt that the German multinational company Bayer, leader in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, had made an offer to acquire Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company, no one could believe it at first. It sounded so crazy and complex it might have as well needed some time for people […]

Breaking news: Juncker’s Commission mutant trojan horse is on the loose in Strasbourg

Yesterday in Strasbourg the Parliament, allegedly, took a decisive stance against GMOs in Europe after so many years of letting the matter linger. Almost all European media came out to congratulate the vote that gives the right to the local governments of the member states to “opt-out” and be able to ban “locally” GMO production […]

Europe votes against GMOs but the Council votes for TTIP

Yesterday afternoon good news came out of the European Parliament; good news for the anti-GM (Genetically Modified Organisms) movement and hopefully for the EU too. The Environment Committee of the European Parliament (ENVI) voted in favour of the right of the member-states to ban GMOs from their territories with 53 votes to 11 and 2 […]

The Commission favours the cultivation of more GMOs in Europe

The delay in the process of negotiations for the conclusion of the EU-US trade agreement seems to have opened the opportunity to clarify some thorny matters between the two largest trading partners of the world. One of them is surely the cultivation on EU soil of Monsanto’s genetically modified ‘Pioneer 1507’ maize seed. Apart from […]

EU signs with Canada historic trade agreement, others to follow

The announcement of the conclusion of the EU-Canada free trade agreement yesterday not only opens a new chapter in the history of EU-Canada relations, but the solutions agreed in sensitive chapters, like agriculture and animal products and public procurement will serve as a base for the under negotiation similar pact with the US. The Prime […]

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) in a report that was published yesterday reveals that the EU spends billions to help the rural economy restructure but with poor results, delivering “only limited value for money”. EU spending on agriculture be it production and producer subsidies or supporting structural investment plans has being traditionally criticised not […]

Commission: Do it like the Americans in the food sector

Only some weeks after the European Union consumers learned that they were eating low quality and contaminated with phenylbutazone horse meat, having paid for it as if it was prime quality beef, the Commission chooses to release its proposal for a new Directive, providing for less controls and higher fines and charges. The new legislation […]

EU Commission: Once in every 20 beef meals you eat…horse probably with drugs in it

This week the European Commission, and in order to be fair and precise, the European Commissioner Tonio Borg, tried once more to convince 500.7 million European consumers that the horsemeat and the Phenylbutazone scandal didn’t reveal any loopholes, in the EU food quality control systems. In a European Commission Press release issued at the beginning […]

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

The theoretically most competitive of all EU markets, namely the large food retailing business, is accused by its suppliers, regrouped in the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) of operating a real oligopoly. Despite this very important development, which poses an issue with ground-breaking repercussions on the way our ‘free competition’ economies operate, the European […]

The Commission breathless behind the horsemeat scandal

The horsemeat scandal is still running free all over the European Union. Yesterday, a pompously named EU Commission group entitled, “Standing Committee of the Food Chain and Animal Health” (SCoFCAH), unanimously agreed in an extraordinary meeting, that the measures proposed by Commissioner Tonio Borg are adequate to counter the health and the fraud problem related to […]

Does the EU want GMOs and meat with hormones from the US?

The prospective drafting of a bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the United States is developing into a major issue and as things evolved last week, it seems that this may lead the EU into a new division, between France on the one side and the free trade lovers Britain and […]

Do the EU policies on agro-food smell?

If we believe what is written in the Treaties, in the European Union everybody is equal and the same flag of democracy waves above the heads of all. But wait a moment. What was that, some English writer, one George Orwell, said in his novel, the Animal Farm? Ah yes, that some are more equal […]