Brussels, 30 October - Austria's ban on genetically modified maize now lies in the hands of the European Commission, after 21 out of 27 EU Environment Ministers refused to force the ban to be lifted today. Friends of the Earth Europe has urged the European Commission to respect member states' wariness and leave Austria's ban in place.
Friends of the Earth Europe and Greenpeace have today welcomed the news that EU Environment Commissioner Dimas is for the first time proposing to ban two types of genetically modified (GM) maize because of the risks they pose to the environment. The green groups urge the whole of the European Commission to put environmental safety first and support the proposed ban.
Brussels, 22 October - Friends of the Earth Europe hit out today at EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, for blazing ahead with a free trade area in the Mediterranean, even though the European Commission's own research predicts that this will make people in Med countries poorer. Mandelson met with Trade Ministers from Euro Mediterranean countries yesterday in Lisbon to move the free trade deal forward.
Brussels, October 22nd - Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have today criticised the EU for its aggressive position in the bi-regional trade and political negotiations with Central America. Today, the first official round of negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Central American countries begins in San José, Costa Rica, with the view of establishing a comprehensive 'Association Agreement' between both regions, covering trade, political dialogue and cooperation aspects.
Brussels, 15 October - Public voting for the "Worst EU Lobbying" Awards 2007 opened online today at www.worstlobby.eu Organised by Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, LobbyControl and Spinwatch, the annual award for deceptive, manipulative and unethical lobbying this year includes a new special "Worst Greenwash" category for the company whose advertising is most at odds with the real environmental impacts of its business activities.
Brussels, October 15th - Green campaign groups have today condemned the EU for its position in the latest environmental WTO dispute - about Europe dumping its used and retreaded tyres on Brazil. Brazil tried to ban the import of used tyres because they act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes, but the EU complained to the WTO about the ban. Today, the WTO body that settles disputes is holding a hearing with both parties in Geneva.
Brussels/Amsterdam, 9 October 2007 - Green campaigners warned today that proposals for certifying palm oil as sustainable are flawed. As the Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) presented proposals to label sustainable palm oil, Friends of the Earth groups staged an installation of screaming tree stumps outside the meeting in Brussels, representing the current environmental violations caused by producing palm oil.
Brussels/Amsterdam, 9 de Octubre 2007 - Amigos de la Tierra advirtió , durante la presentació n de las propuestas para un etiquetado sostenible del aceite de palma, sobre las deficiencias de esta certificació n y los graves impactos de la demanda Europea de esta materia prima para fabricar agrocombustibles.
8th October, Brussels - The US authorities have failed to identify how unlicensed genetically modified (GM) rice seriously contaminated the food chain last August. Bayer CropScience, the company who owns the GM rice, will not face any legal action by the US government. Friends of the Earth Europe is calling on national governments and the European Commission to demand that the US urgently tightens up its safety procedures to prevent future GM contamination incidents.
Brussels, October 5th 2007 - Big European companies such as Alcatel, Siemens, Total, Maersk and Rolls-Royce, and a number of timber companies, are still doing business with Burma - despite the Burmese junta's human rights violations and environmental destruction, Friends of the Earth Europe revealed today. The group demands that European governments and the European Commission forbid European companies from trading with Burma, as voluntary CSR policies and warnings from the United Nations are doing nothing to curb their trade with the regime.