More tests and heavier sanctions for offenders are needed to prevent a second horse meat scandal, according to members of the EP's public health and food safety committee. They debated on 18 February about what should be done after horse meat had been found mislabelled as beef in several EU countries, however they ruled out the need for new EU legislation. Committee members also called on member states to better respect existing rules on labelling and to better collaborate on traceability.
The sale of new pollution permits should be delayed to help tackle oversupply in Europe's carbon credit market, according to the EP's environment committee. Committee members backed plans by the European Commission for this on Tuesday 19 February as they believe it could help carbon prices to recover from records lows and restore the incentives to invest in low carbon technologies. However, critics say that such an intervention could cost the industry dearly in a time of recession.
World Aids Day will be held on 1 December to call attention to the disease that cost 25 million their lives and saw 60 million people get infected across the globe. Even though Aids remains one of the main causes of death in many parts of the world and no cure or vaccine has been found yet, there are some promising developments. A UN report shows that prevention is working as new HIV infections are declining in many countries hit by the HIV/Aids epidemic. Could this be the turning point?
Designer drugs are transforming how drugs are being used in Europe, a new report has revealed. While cannabis and cocaine are being consumed less, new psychoactive substances have become more popular, especially with young people, according to the latest report from the EU's drug monitoring agency. MEPs and experts discussed the latest drug trends in Europe on 27 November.
Never mind what the popular Jaws films will have you believe: people pose a greater threat to sharks then they to us. Several shark species have been pushed to the brink of extinction due to fin hunters cutting the animals' fins off while they are still alive before leaving them to drown in the water. MEPs voted on 22 November to close a loophole in the current ban on shark finning, which will make it easier to catch out perpetrators of this cruel practice.
Parliament played a key role in evaluating Tonio Borg before he could be appointed as the EU's new commissioner for health and consumer protection. The Maltese politician was put forward for the post after his predecessor John Dalli resigned. MEPs examined him at length before approving his nomination on 21 November. In this focus you will find more information about Mr Borg and how Parliament assessed his suitability.
MEPs called for shale gas drilling to be subject to tough rules in two resolutions adopted on 21 November. Extraction could boost Europe's energy supply, but as there are concerns about how it could affect people's health and the environment, the Parliament calls for caution. Find out how shale gas drilling works in our infographic.
Ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse emissions will need to be agreed at the upcoming climate conference in Doha to avoid the tipping point for major climate changes. That is one of the messages of a resolution drawn up by the EP's environment committee ahead of the UN climate summit from 26 November to 7 December. MEPs will debate the committee's recommendations during plenary on 21 November and vote on them the following day.
Investment into low-carbon technologies could be held back due to the lower prices for greenhouse gas allowances under the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS). Because of the crisis, there has been less demand for the allowances, leading to an expected oversupply of 1.4 billion emission allowances at the end of the year. The EP's environment committee held a meeting on 12 November to discuss with climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard, the Cyprus presidency and experts what could be done.
The EU should serve up a strategy to promote local and sustainable farming, according to Green MEP José Bové, who is a farmer in his native France. He has written a report in response to a Commission communication on how to promote agricultural products, which was adopted by the Parliament's agriculture committee on 18 September. We spoke with Mr Bové about how this could be achieved