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Parliamentary questions
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4 March 2016
Question for written answer E-002001-16
to the Commission
Rule 130
Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

 Subject:  Use of recent research in policy on production of foie gras
 Answer in writing 

In its answer to Written Question E-012751/2015, the Commission said that it ‘has not been informed of any new studies and a future scientific opinion from the European Food Safety Authority is not foreseen’.

In December 2015 a study was presented by the University of Cambridge. It highlights the fact that new scientific knowledge is available, and that animal welfare is severely harmed by the way foie gras is currently produced. It also affirms that a substantial number of the recommendations issued by the Council of Europe — whose legal validity the Commission has clearly stated — or set out in the 1998 Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare (SCAHAW) report are routinely ignored.

According to the Commission’s previous reply, this is the only unbiased scientific study since 1998, and it is discouraging to see that it highlights the lack of action by EU institutions, both in producing new research and in implementing existing legislation.

1. Does the Commission still think that a European Food Safety Authority report is unnecessary, thus leaving the task of developing research in the field of animal welfare in foie gras production entirely to academic institutions?

2. If so, how is the Commission going to solve the many problems highlighted in the report?

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