Brussels Briefing on Agriculture – All you need to know for April & May 2015

In this Brussels Briefing on Agriculture, AGRA FACTS  journalists Rose O’Donovan & Ed Bray provide an update on the latest developments in EU agricultural policy.

  • Commission plans to reform Genetically Modified (GM) food and feed rules: published on April 22, the proposal would allow Member States to ban their farmers from using GM animal feed for their livestock, even though the GM feed had gained approval at EU-level.
    • Countries would have to justify such bans with other grounds than health and the environment, provided they are in line with EU and international law.
    • Both environmental NGOs & industry attacked the plans. Green NGOs say it fails to make the GMO authorisation procedure more democratic. Industry groups, including farmers, say it would disrupt the internal market, and harm key trade relations with third countries such as the US.
  • At the Farm Council on April 20, no decisions were taken. But Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan confirmed that two reports on the possibility to extend mandatory origin labelling to dairy & other products would be published in “the coming weeks”.

Key dates on the agenda: Ministers will meet again at the Agriculture Council on May 11 and expect to reach deals on simplifying Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reforms rules & organic legislation.

Featuring a statement from EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

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