Draft EU rules on clinical trials of new medicines were endorsed by the Public Health Committee on Wednesday. A regulation designed to encourage research whilst protecting patients' rights is to replace an existing directive with simpler, more uniform rules. The new text makes specific provision for low-risk trials, clarifies the duties of ethics committees and details how to obtain informed consent from patients.
Rules on the labelling and content of baby milk and foods for special medical purposes should be better defined in order to protect consumers and distinguish more clearly between foods for normal consumption and foods for specific groups, says a deal struck by Parliament and Council negotiators. The agreement, unanimosly approved by the public health committee on Wednesday, also covers some low-calorie diets.
To reduce the CO2 emissions of new light commercial vehicles sold in the EU to 147g/km by 2020, from 203g today, innovation should be encouraged by giving "super-credit" weightings to each maker's cleaner vehicles. Longer-term CO2 reduction targets should also be set, and environmental performance testing methods should be made more realistic, said the Environment Committee on Tuesday. The top speed of vans should be electronically limited to 120km/h, it added.
To reduce the CO2 emissions of new cars sold in the EU to 95g/km by 2020, from 130g today, clean-car innovation should be encouraged by giving "super-credit" weightings to each maker's cleaner cars and setting more ambitious longer-term reduction targets, said the Environment Committee on Wednesday. Environmental performance testing methods should also be made more realistic, as a matter of urgency, it added.
Plans to clean up the scrapping of old ships and ensure the materials are recycled in EU-approved facilities worldwide were revised by the Environment Committee on Tuesday. MEPs propose that the scheme be funded by a recycling levy, in line with the "polluter pays" principle. Owners of EU ships would also face penalties if they sold them for scrapping on a beach in developing countries.
The "horse burger" consumer confidence crisis highlights the EU member states' failure to enforce EU laws on food chain checks and also a lack of dissuasive sanctions against food fraud, said MEPs in a Public Health Committee debate with Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg on Thursday.
A proposal temporarily to suspend the EU CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for intercontinental flights, so as to enable International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to agree worldwide measures, was backed by the Environment Committee on Tuesday. MEPs stressed that this exception to the ETS is conditional upon progress at the ICAO and earmarked ETS revenues for efforts to tackle climate change. The ETS will continue to apply to flights between EU airports.
Draft rules on tobacco additives and labelling, and the likely effect of updating the EU Tobacco Products Directive on public health, business and tax revenues were examined in an Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee debate with Ireland's Health Minister James Reilly and Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner Tonio Borg on Monday.
MEPs called for more meat tests along the food chain in the wake of the horsemeat scandal during a debate in the food safety committee on Monday. Many voiced concern over member states' level of commitment to enforcing the EU's existing rules on labelling and urged the European Commission to step up controls.
A freeze in the auction of some pollution allowances should be allowed to help boost green investments, according to environment committee MEPs voting on draft legislation on Tuesday.