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Agriculture and fisheries

Happy children with healthy food ©BELGA_MASTERFILE_Norbert Kramer  

The EU and its member states must invest more effort and money in promoting healthy eating and the consumption of local foodstuffs amongst children, said the agriculture committee said on Tuesday when it amended draft rules on schemes to provide fruit, vegetables and milk in schools. (Read more: Milk and fruit in schools: agriculture MEPs promote healthy eating )

Happy children and healthy food ©BELGA_AGEFOTOSTOCK_D.Cervo  

Children are eating fewer and fewer fruit, vegetables and dairy products in Europe, but a new proposal could help them to adopt a healthier diet. Under the plan two existing EU schemes for handing out fresh milk, fruit and vegetables to pupils would be combined, reducing the administrative burden and creating more opportunities for teaching children about balanced diets. The Parliament's agriculture committee votes on it on 14 April, followed by all MEPs during a plenary session. (Read more: Five a day: how the EU will help children to learn about healthy eating )

A cow is prepared to be hooked up to an automatic milker at an GAEC farm near Bains-sur-Oust in Brittany, western France, on March 26, 2015. ©BELGA_AFP  

The amount of milk produced in the EU will for the first time in three decades be determined by market forces only after European milk quotas ended on 1 April. The quotas were introduced in 1984 when production outstripped demand with the aim of putting an end to Europe's "milk lakes and butter mountains". It is hoped that by scrapping the quotas, Europe's milk producers are able to supply fast-growing markets in Asia and Africa. However, some farmers worry it could lead to price volatility. (Read more: End of milk quotas: "Chance to build a more confident and robust dairy sector" )


Fishermen will have two years to “adapt” before sanctions for failing to comply with the new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) discard ban take effect, under a tentative deal struck by Parliament and Council on Thursday, with European Commission help. The agreement amends the “omnibus” regulation setting out detailed arrangements for enforcing the ban. (Read more: Discard ban: MEPs delay enforcement of sanctions on fishermen who fail to comply )


Q&A: GMO cultivation in the EU

Others Agriculture / Environment / Food safety12-01-2015 - 13:27
Corn in a field. ©BELGA_ AFP_P.HUGUEN  

The EU has one of the toughest genetically modified food regulations in the world and the cultivation of GM crops is only allowed following a thorough risk assessment. The Council has agreed to a proposal to give member states more flexibility to deal with GMOs on their own territory. MEPs will debate the proposal and vote on it on Tuesday morning. Follow it live on our website. (Read more: Q&A: GMO cultivation in the EU )


New Fisheries Fund, signed and sealed, concludes EU fisheries policy reform

Plenary Session Fisheries16-04-2014 - 18:36
Fishermen pull out their nets from water aboard the fishing boat "Kanedevenn" as they fish sardines on September 24, 2013 in Quiberon, western France.  

Operating rules for European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) aid to help fishermen to comply with new Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) requirements were endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. EMFF aid will help fishermen to observe the discard ban, e.g. by buying more selective fishing gear, but will also be used to improve safety and working conditions, data collection and port infrastructure. All this will help to make EU fisheries more sustainable. (Read more: New Fisheries Fund, signed and sealed, concludes EU fisheries policy reform )

Blue ripe grapes in a vineyard.©BELGA_EASYFOTOSTOCK_H.Schneider  

A deal with the EU Council of Ministers on measures to boost sales of EU farm produce within the EU and abroad and to restore consumer confidence in the event of market disruptions was approved by the Agriculture Committee on Monday. (Read more: Agriculture MEPs endorse deal with Council on promoting EU farm produce )


MEPs reject draft seed regulation

Plenary Session Agriculture11-03-2014 - 12:50
Oat graines  

The European Commission's proposal for plant reproductive material law, also known as the “seed regulation”, was voted down by Parliament on Tuesday, amid concerns that it would give the Commission too much power and leave EU countries without any leeway to tailor the new rules to their needs. Following the Commission’s refusal to withdraw its draft text and table an improved one, Parliament closed the first reading. (Read more: MEPs reject draft seed regulation )


New legislation to tackle outbreaks of animal diseases, such as African swine fever, more effectively, restrict the introduction of dangerous new pests and enable the EU to act quickly but responsibly in emergencies was adopted by the agriculture committee in two separate votes on Tuesday. (Read more: Animal diseases and pests: MEPs call for stronger measures to boost food safety )


Agriculture Committee rejects seed regulation

AGRI Agriculture11-02-2014 - 14:09

The Agriculture Committee rejected the Commission's proposed seed regulation by 37 votes to two on Tuesday amid concerns that it would give the Commission excessively wide powers and leave member states no room to adapt the rules to their needs. MEPs also said that the proposal failed to meet core objectives such as simplifying the rules and promoting innovation or to deal with plants viewed as generic resources. (Read more: Agriculture Committee rejects seed regulation )