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Health and environment

 
Gilles Pargneaux  

Planes and high-speed trains have made it easier for viruses and diseases to spread quickly but how should Europe protect itself against such health threats? On 2 July MEPs will debate a report by Gilles Pargneaux on a Commission proposal to improve the EU's response and vote on it the following day. We asked Mr Pargneaux, a French member of the S&D group, how the new approach could make a difference in life-or-death situations. (Read more: Gilles Pargneaux: We will be able to vaccinate more quickly in urgent situations )

 
 

New rules set to inject new life into clinical trials

Others Research and innovation / Public health31-05-2013 - 10:15
MEP Wilmott is giving an interview  

Clinical trials are set to become better, faster and safer under new rules approved by the EP's public health committee on 30 May. The rules will have to be approved by the EP during the October plenary as well as by the Council before they can enter into force. Glenis Willmott, who wrote the report with recommendations, believes they will also make the trials quicker and more transparent and help to provide better treatment. We asked Ms Willmott, a British member of the S&D group, for details. (Read more: New rules set to inject new life into clinical trials )

 
 

Live: presentation of European Drug Report for 2013

Others Public health30-05-2013 - 09:01
Watch it live  

One in four adults in Europe - more than 85 million people - have tried illicit drugs at some point in their lives. But is the situation getting better or worse? A new report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction gives all the facts, such as that 73 new psychoactive substances were sold for the first time in the EU in 2012. The agency's 2013 annual report will be presented to the EP's justice and home affairs committee on 30 May. Follow it live on our website. (Read more: Live: presentation of European Drug Report for 2013 )

 
 

E-cigarettes: safer alternative to tobacco or potential health risk?

Others Public health14-05-2013 - 16:13
 

E-cigarettes are often presented as a solution for smokers who want to quit their deadly habit but struggle to overcome their nicotine addiction, but how safe are they? Should they be regulated as medication or as tobacco products? These issues are currently being considered as part of a review of the tobacco products directive. MEPs also debated it with experts during a workshop on 7 May. (Read more: E-cigarettes: safer alternative to tobacco or potential health risk? )

 
 

Month of the Brain: experts warn MEPs over expected rise in brain diseases

Others Research and innovation / Public health29-04-2013 - 16:53
Coloured 3D diffusion tensor imaging scan of the brain, showing the bundles of white matter nerve fibres©Belga/Science  

Brain diseases cost Europe €798 billion in 2010 and this will go up drastically in the coming years due to the continent's ageing population. By 2025 one in five Europeans will be 65 or over, resulting in more degenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. In May the European Month of the Brain will be held to call attention to brain research and health care issues. A special workshop was held at the EP on 23 April to discuss what could be done about brain disorders. (Read more: Month of the Brain: experts warn MEPs over expected rise in brain diseases )

 
 

Environment MEPs approve new rules for achieving cleaner cars

Others Environment25-04-2013 - 13:08
A car's exhaust  

The environment committee has approved new rules for making it possible for the EU to meet an ambitious target for cleaner cars by 2020. CO2 emissions will need to come down from 130gCO2/km in 2015 to 95gCO2/km by 2020. This is important as one fifth of all CO2 emissions in Europe comes from cars, while emissions from road transport increased by 26% between 1990 and 2008. The proposal approved this week sets out the concrete steps needed to achieve the 2020 target. (Read more: Environment MEPs approve new rules for achieving cleaner cars )

 
 

The eggstraordinary story of a popular Easter treat

Others Agriculture / Consumers28-03-2013 - 09:45
Infographic about eggs  

From witches to fireworks, bunnies and flying church bells - European countries have a lot of different traditions to celebrate Easter. One of them is to decorate eggs, but how safe are they really? The European Parliament has worked on different laws to ensure hens and their eggs are healthy. This includes last year's ban on the use of battery cages for hens and the use of the egg code to inform shoppers how an egg was produced. Check out our infographic for more information. (Read more: The eggstraordinary story of a popular Easter treat )

 
 

MEPs call for recycling levy to pay for the safe dismantling of ships

Others External relations / Industry / Environment27-03-2013 - 11:23
 

Environment MEPS have called for a recycling levy to pay for EU ships being taken apart at EU-approved facilities in order to reduce the environmental impact and make it safer for the workers involved. Dismantling ships can currently expose workers to cancer-causing chemicals and lead to harmful materials being leaked into the environment. To prevent this, the EP's environment committee approved on Tuesday 26 March new rules on the scrapping of old EU ships. (Read more: MEPs call for recycling levy to pay for the safe dismantling of ships )

 
 

MEPs call for better protection from hormone-affecting chemicals

Others Consumers / Public health12-03-2013 - 09:55
Molecular model of Bisphenol A.  

Hormone-related disorders have gone up over the last 20 years and one of the causes behind this could be endocrine-disrupting chemicals. A report calling for a reduction in exposure to these chemicals will be debated by the European Parliament on Tuesday and voted on Thursday. Swedish Social Democrat MEP Åsa Westlund, who wrote the report, explained: "Even if we do not have all the answers, we do know enough to regulate these substances in accordance with the precautionary principle." (Read more: MEPs call for better protection from hormone-affecting chemicals )