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All of the EP’s 20 standing committees and two subcommittees held their constitutive meetings on Wednesday to elect their chair and vice-chairs.

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Draft plans to tighten up official controls from farm to fork were informally agreed by food safety MEPs and the Dutch Presidency of the Council on Wednesday. It aims to guarantee that the food consumers buy and eat in Europe is safe and wholesome, hence improving consumer’s health and preventing food crises.

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Environment MEPs advocate a full and immediate EU-wide ban on ivory and rhinoceros horn trade, and call for common sanctions at EU level against wildlife trafficking, in a resolution voted on Thursday. Wildlife trafficking is worth an estimated €20 billion annually. It has grown in recent years, becoming one of the biggest and most profitable forms of organised cross-border crime.

ENVI  
 

A draft law to make smoking less attractive to the young by banning the use of "characterised" flavours such as strawberry or menthol in tobacco products was backed by Public Health Committee MEPs on Wednesday. But they also amended the draft to require health warnings on every side of a cigarette pack and ban slim cigarettes and "attractive" packaging.

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Ministers are outlining the priorities of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU to parliamentary committees, in a series of meetings.

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Draft legal measures to cap traditional biofuel production and accelerate the switchover to a a new generation of products from other sources, such as seaweed and or certain types of waste, were approved by the Environment Committee on Thursday. These measures aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions due to the growing use of farmland to produce biofuel crops.

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A draft law to reform the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), by reducing the surplus of carbon credits available for trading into order to support the price, was backed by Environment Committee MEPs in a vote on Tuesday. They advocated introducing the mechanism early, by the end of 2018, and also proposed preventing the automatic return to the market, from 2019, of a portion of allowances “back loaded” last year in a separate vote.

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The share of waste to be recycled should be raised to 70% by 2030, from 44% today, while landfilling, which has a big environmental impact, should be limited to 5%, said Environment Committee MEPs on Tuesday, as they amended the draft EU “waste package” legislation. They also advocate a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

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The EU should tackle the environmental impacts, such as deforestation and habitat degradation, linked to the unsustainable production of palm oil in particular in South-East Asia, said Environment MEPs in a non-binding report adopted on Thursday. Members advocate a phase-out of the use in biofuels of vegetable oils that drive deforestation by 2020, and a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market.

       
 

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