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As announced in the EU biodiversity strategy for 2030, on 22 June 2022 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a nature restoration regulation. The proposed regulation would set multiple binding restoration targets and obligations across a broad range of ecosystems, from forests and agricultural land to urban areas, rivers and marine habitats, complementing other existing legal instruments. Altogether, these nature restoration measures should cover at least 20 % of the EU's land and sea areas ...

This briefing follows up the commitments made by the commissioner since 2019.

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been the subject of such strong political and social debate that the question of its suitability for its main original purpose – improving supply chain efficiency – may come as a surprise. What if AI really could help strategic sectors cope with pressure? More specifically, could the agri-food sector benefit from this technology to compensate for the shortages broadly forecast as a result of today's crises?

Genome editing is the targeted alteration of a few DNA letters within the existing genetic blueprint of an organism. By far the most widely used genome-editing tool is CRISPR-Cas. CRISPR-Cas genome-editing technology can be applied in a number of different ways. The genetic changes that are introduced by means of the SDN1 and SDN2 types of CRISPR-Cas technology do not differ from changes that can occur naturally or result from conventional breeding. While CRISPR-Cas technology is highly accurate, ...

The European Parliament has a range of supervisory and control powers, allowing it to exercise oversight over other European Union institutions. To strengthen this oversight, Parliament has revived the practice of holding 'question time' with the European Commission and the High Representative during plenary sessions. For the June I session, questions to the Commission will concern pesticide use and consumer protection.

Scientific evidence indicates that beneficial microorganisms (that live in nearly ubiquitous communities called microbiota) are an essential component of human health, and could be a new frontier for personalised medicine to fight non-communicable diseases and improve human health. For their potential benefits to reach society, the EU should consider standardisation, protocols, and a regulatory framework to support research and innovation.

In September 2020, Belgium initiated a notification in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) concerning residues of an unauthorised substance called ethylene oxide (EO) in various lots of sesame seeds from India. This triggered a chain of enforced testing and controls, leading to withdrawals and recalls of significant amounts of products in many EU Member States, including products such as hummus, bread, and sauces containing sesame. Both conventional and organic products are concerned ...

This study provides a broad perspective on the main trends regarding the use of pesticides in developing countries and their impacts on human health and food security. Information is provided on the challenges of controlling these hazardous substances, along with the extent to which pesticides banned within the European Union (EU) are exported to third countries. The analysis assesses the factors behind the continuation of these exports, along with the rising demand for better controls. Recommendations ...

New plant genetic modification techniques, referred to as 'gene editing' or 'genome editing', have evolved rapidly in recent years, allowing much faster and more precise results than conventional plant-breeding techniques. They are seen as a promising innovative field for the agri-food industry, offering great technical potential. Consumers could benefit from enhanced nutritional quality or reduced allergenicity of food, for example, such as gluten-reduced wheat. There is, however, considerable debate ...

The aim of this briefing is to give an overview of positions the European Parliament has taken over the last twenty years that are relevant to the Farm to Fork strategy, the component of the European Green Deal that aims for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food system. Despite it being a new strategy, most of its 27 actions are connected to already existing legislation and as such, Parliament has previously given its opinion on the subjects covered by the strategy. This briefing presents ...