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Agriculture and fisheries


School milk and fruit: agriculture MEPs promote healthy eating

AGRI Agriculture11-01-2016 - 18:07
Selection of fruit apples, grapes, plums  

New measures to strengthen and boost funding for an EU scheme to provide fruit, vegetables and milk products in schools were backed by the agriculture committee on Monday. They put more emphasis on educating children in healthy eating, increase the budget and merge into one the current separate schemes for milk and fruit in schools. (Read more: School milk and fruit: agriculture MEPs promote healthy eating )


Safeguard farmers' traditional plant breeding rights, say MEPs

Plenary Session Agriculture17-12-2015 - 13:08
Broccoli and romanesco cauliflower in clay pot  

A ban on the patenting of products obtained by conventional breeding techniques, such as crossing, is essential to sustain innovation, food security and small businesses, says a non-legislative resolution voted by Parliament on Thursday. MEPs, surprised by the European Patent Office decision to allow patents on such products, call on the EU Commission to clarify existing EU rules as a matter of urgency and protect plant breeders’ access to biological material. (Read more: Safeguard farmers' traditional plant breeding rights, say MEPs )


New rules to curb the influx of pests, such as Xylella fastidiosa, caused by increased trade and climate change, stop them spreading and eradicate the most dangerous ones were informally agreed by MEPs and the Luxembourg Council Presidency on Wednesday. The provisional deal also introduces preventive measures for imported plants and fast-response mechanisms for high-risk ones. (Read more: Plant health: deal on new measures to tackle influx of new pests into the EU )


Organic food: healthier than conventional food?

Others Agriculture / Food safety19-11-2015 - 12:39
EU Organic Label  

Organic food is gaining in popularity, but what are the health benefits? MEPs discussed the impact of organic food with experts during a meeting organised by the Parliament's science and technology unit (STOA) on 18 November. They heard further research may be needed to establish organic food's nutritional benefits. In our Twitter poll on the topic, two thirds of respondents said they preferred organic food. (Read more: Organic food: healthier than conventional food? )


Organic farmers, processors, traders and importers must meet higher but realistic sustainability criteria and undergo strict food fraud checks to boost trust in the EU organic label, said agriculture MEPs on Tuesday. They introduced measures to avoid contamination of organic food, including on mixed organic and conventional farms, and endorsed plans to help small farmers turn organic. (Read more: Organic food: boosting EU production and enhancing consumer trust )


Agricultural crisis: €500m aid package not enough, say MEPs

Plenary Session Agriculture17-09-2015 - 10:20
Cow milking ©AP Images/EP  

The Commission's €500 million aid package revealed last week is a step in the right direction but it might be not enough to get farmers struggling with falling prices back on their feet, many MEPs told Commissioner Phil Hogan in a debate on Wednesday. Crisis management instruments should be improved, and the position of farmers in the food supply chain strengthened, said MEPs. Some also ask the Commission to immediately increase intervention prices to tackle the current crisis. (Read more: Agricultural crisis: €500m aid package not enough, say MEPs )


EP wants animal cloning ban extended to offspring and imports

Plenary Session Agriculture / Public health08-09-2015 - 12:37
Cloned sheeps? ©CC/Flickr/Linh_Nguyen  

Parliament beefed up the Commission’s initial proposal to ban animal cloning to include the cloning of all farm animals, their descendants and products derived from them, including imports into the EU, in a vote on Tuesday. (Read more: EP wants animal cloning ban extended to offspring and imports )


Cloning for food: MEPs vote on plans to ban the practice

Others Agriculture07-09-2015 - 14:30
Animal cloning process. Illustration of the stages in cloning an animal.  

Should cloning for food be banned because of animal welfare concerns? On Tuesday 8 September MEPs debate and vote on amendments to a European Commission proposal to ban the cloning of farm animals in the EU. The MEPs in charge of steering the plans through Parliament support the ban, but want to add provisions on the offspring of cloned animals and the marketing of their products coming from countries outside the EU. Watch the debate live from 9.00 CET. (Read more: Cloning for food: MEPs vote on plans to ban the practice )


The agriculture committee on Thursday rejected the Commission's draft law that would give member states the power to restrict or prohibit the use of EU-approved GM food or feed on their territory. It fears that arbitrary national bans could distort competition on the EU's single market and jeopardise the Union's food production sectors which are heavily dependent on imports of GM feed. (Read more: Agriculture committee opposes national bans on Imports of GM food and feed )


The EU must do more to help farmers to earn a fair return from the food supply chain, introduce better tools for dealing with market disturbances and help farmers to find new outlets for produce shut out of the Russian market, MEPs say in two non-binding resolutions voted on Tuesday. Member states should help them join forces in producer organisations to boost their bargaining power, they add. (Read more: Milk, fruit, vegetables: help farmers earn fair incomes and resist market shocks )