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Health and environment

 

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 )

 
 

MEPs asked to give global talks to limit aviation emissions chance to take off

Others Transport / Environment27-02-2013 - 14:57
Peter Liese  

MEPs should facilitate talks on a global deal to limit aviation emissions by approving plans to exempt intercontinental flights from the EU's emission trading system for one year, according to the EP's environment committee. According to their report adopted on Tuesday this exception should only be extended if clear and sufficient progress has been made on such a deal. We talked about it with Peter Liese, who is responsible for steering the plans through Parliament. (Read more: MEPs asked to give global talks to limit aviation emissions chance to take off )

 
 

DNA testing: how to protect sensitive data about our future health

Others Research and innovation / Public health27-02-2013 - 13:12
A human egg cell being injected for demonstration purposes at a laboratory  

Information gained from genetic testing can be used to improve people's health, but what about other ends? There have been concerns that insurance companies could use it to decide not to cover people at a higher risk of disease. The issue was debated at a special meeting organised by the EP's public health committee on 26 February. To prevent genetic testing being abused, experts and MEPs recommended informed consent, stronger market surveillance and protection of sensitive personal data. (Read more: DNA testing: how to protect sensitive data about our future health )

 
 

Smoking: can new rules help to stub out a nasty habit?

Others Consumers / Public health25-02-2013 - 12:35
Infographci about new tobacco legislation  

Smokers have so proved resilient to anti-smoking campaigns. Showing pictures of cancer-infected lungs on cigarette packs accompanied by bold warnings have not led to droves of people giving up on their cancer sticks. However, the EU is not giving up. In order to bring down the alarmingly high rate of European smokers, new legislation is being planned. Follow the EP's public hearing on tobacco products Monday and check out our infographic for more details about smoking in the EU. (Read more: Smoking: can new rules help to stub out a nasty habit? )

 
 

How the EU should not waste the opportunity to switch to non-food biofuels

Others Energy / Environment21-02-2013 - 14:10
Biofuel, conceptual computer artwork © BELGA_SCIENCE  

Biofuels showed great potential as a green alternative to fossil fuels, but demands for crops needed to produce it has led to many acres of forest being converted into agricultural land. This also meant there were fewer trees to absorb CO2 emissions. The EU now wants to shift to biofuels that are produced from waste or residues. The EP's environment and energy committees met with expert on 20 February to debate how this could be achieved. (Read more: How the EU should not waste the opportunity to switch to non-food biofuels )