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Health and environment

 

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 )

 
 
 

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. (Read more: Horse meat scandal: MEPs want better enforcement to ensure food safety )

 
 

Environment MEPs vote to give EU carbon market breathing space

Others Environment19-02-2013 - 16:17
Emissions from an industrial area by the waterline  

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. (Read more: Environment MEPs vote to give EU carbon market breathing space )

 
 

World Aids Day: are we winning the fight?

Others Public health01-12-2012 - 12:26
HIV trend in the EU  

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? (Read more: World Aids Day: are we winning the fight? )