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Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, October II 2017

27-10-2017

The highlights of the October II plenary session included a debate on the conclusions of the last European Council meeting and the presentation of a new agenda for EU leaders, as well as the presentation of the 2018 Commission work programme. Members paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist killed in a car bomb explosion on 16 October.

The highlights of the October II plenary session included a debate on the conclusions of the last European Council meeting and the presentation of a new agenda for EU leaders, as well as the presentation of the 2018 Commission work programme. Members paid tribute to Daphne Caruana Galizia, the Maltese journalist killed in a car bomb explosion on 16 October.

Economic Aspects of the Regulatory Framework in the Area of Fertilizers

14-04-2017

This study discusses economic implications of the proposed EU regulation on the market of CE marked fertilizers. Depending on the design of the regulation, the costs can be substantial. The expected additional costs of introducing mandatory or voluntary maximum threshold levels for cadmium in inorganic fertilizer are larger than the expected benefits. Measuring cadmium concentration in food in combination with food consumption information seems to be a more cost-effective strategy. Harmonizing the ...

This study discusses economic implications of the proposed EU regulation on the market of CE marked fertilizers. Depending on the design of the regulation, the costs can be substantial. The expected additional costs of introducing mandatory or voluntary maximum threshold levels for cadmium in inorganic fertilizer are larger than the expected benefits. Measuring cadmium concentration in food in combination with food consumption information seems to be a more cost-effective strategy. Harmonizing the standards for new fertilizing products entering the EU market can increase their supply, support the development of the bio-economy and hence should be enforced. This document was prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

Parlamendiväline autor

Justus Wesseler and Dušan Drabik

What if animal farming were not so bad for the environment?

08-02-2017

What options exist, especially in terms of new technologies, for reducing the carbon footprint of the livestock industry, how effective might they be, and what could be done to encourage their implementation? The livestock industry is responsible for around 14.5 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this percentage is due to the emission of large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, which both result in greater global warming than carbon dioxide per gram of gas released. The main ...

What options exist, especially in terms of new technologies, for reducing the carbon footprint of the livestock industry, how effective might they be, and what could be done to encourage their implementation? The livestock industry is responsible for around 14.5 % of global greenhouse gas emissions. The magnitude of this percentage is due to the emission of large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide, which both result in greater global warming than carbon dioxide per gram of gas released. The main cause of livestock methane emissions is the digestive process in ruminants, such as cattle and sheep. In these animals, food is fermented, generating methane which is burped out. Nitrous oxide is generated through the application of fertilisers for animal feed production. This is also the case with crops grown for human consumption, but, as most of the energy stored in crops is lost when they are fed to animals, emissions due to fertilisers are much greater per calorie of animal produce than of plant produce. Both gases are produced by the storage of manure and its application as a fertiliser. In addition, carbon dioxide is emitted through burning fossil fuels for purposes such as fertiliser production, operation of farm machinery and transport of goods.

Precision Agriculture and the Future of Farming in Europe

22-12-2016

This study resulted in the identification of four main future opportunities and concerns regarding precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, in the EU, on which the European Parliament could take anticipatory action now: 1.  PA can actively contribute to food security and safety; 2.  PA supports sustainable farming; 3.  PA will trigger societal changes along with its uptake; 4.  PA requires new skills to be learned. The wide diversity of agriculture throughout the EU, regarding particularly ...

This study resulted in the identification of four main future opportunities and concerns regarding precision agriculture (PA), or precision farming, in the EU, on which the European Parliament could take anticipatory action now: 1.  PA can actively contribute to food security and safety; 2.  PA supports sustainable farming; 3.  PA will trigger societal changes along with its uptake; 4.  PA requires new skills to be learned. The wide diversity of agriculture throughout the EU, regarding particularly farm size, types of farming, farming practices, output and employment, presents a challenge for European policy-makers. European policy measures therefore should differentiate between Member States, taking into account that the opportunities and concerns vary highly from one country to another.

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture

20-12-2016

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles ...

This study reviews existing scientific evidence regarding the impact of organic food on human health from an EU perspective, with a focus on public health. The development of environmentally sustainable and healthy food systems is an international priority. The study examines how organic food and organic agriculture can contribute to this in relation to public health. Human and animal studies directly addressing the health effects of organic food are reviewed. Furthermore, evidence linking principles and rules of organic production to human health effects is discussed.

Revision of the Fertilisers Regulation 2003/2003

04-05-2016

While Regulation 2003/2003 has clearly contributed to the removal of trade barriers for EC fertilisers and is generally cost-efficient, its effectiveness in terms of health and environmental protection appears mixed. Recent analyses indicate that one of its central weaknesses lies in the fact that it is mainly being used for conventional inorganic mineral fertilisers. As a result, nearly half of the fertilisers currently on the EU market are not covered by the Regulation, with negative impacts on ...

While Regulation 2003/2003 has clearly contributed to the removal of trade barriers for EC fertilisers and is generally cost-efficient, its effectiveness in terms of health and environmental protection appears mixed. Recent analyses indicate that one of its central weaknesses lies in the fact that it is mainly being used for conventional inorganic mineral fertilisers. As a result, nearly half of the fertilisers currently on the EU market are not covered by the Regulation, with negative impacts on the use of potentially more environmentally-friendly alternatives and on innovation. In addition, the Regulation does not include limits to the content of heavy metals such as cadmium and other contaminants. It is thus fair to conclude that, in its present form, Regulation 2003/2003 does not entirely reflect the current fertilising materials market situation and is not fully aligned with EU policy goals. A revision of the Regulation was already planned during the previous Commission term and has now been linked to the Circular Economy Strategy. A proposal for a Regulation to foster the use of organic and waste-based fertilisers, addressing some of the shortcomings of the existing Regulation and introducing limits for certain contaminants was published by the European Commission on 17 March 2016.

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