Green MEPs support sustainable farming practices that respect the environment and animal welfare while providing nutritious food for everyone.
Green voices in the European Parliament have provided a counterweight to intense lobbying from agri-businesses. We’ve won major concessions in a number of areas as we continue to fight for fishing and farming practices which protect, and wherever possible, enhance our environment.
Common Fisheries Policy
Around three-quarters of all European fish stocks are overexploited. This overfishing has decimated stocks to the extent that they are unable to renew themselves naturally and thus tip into decline.
Greens were at the centre of creating a new Common Fisheries Policy that will help address the dangerous state of our seas. Jean worked with fellow Greens to in rallying a majority of MEPs behind a demand for sustainable fish stocks. Green amendments on avoiding bycatch and reducing discards of bycatch was also carried by a majority in Parliament. Thanks to Greens future fishing rights will be allocated according to best performance indicators, no longer based on historical fishing quotas.
The Common Agricultural Policy is the EU’s single largest piece of expenditure and Greens have been working to put sustainability and social justice at its core. During the Parliamentary negotiations over CAP Greens demanded a strict limit on the amount of subsidy agri-businesses can claim, to ensure that CAP payments can be better distributed. Greens also pushed for the CAP’s sustainability to be greatly improved. Despite their best efforts Greens were outvoted on the final CAP proposals and the EU has been left with a farming policy that isn’t fit for purpose in the 21st century.
Greens believe that food labelling must be comprehensive and easy for all consumers to understand, especially in light of the horse meat scandal in the UK.
Greens succeeded in introducing the basic demands on country of origin labelling, which will become mandatory for meat. The European Commission will also examine whether such a practice is viable for other foodstuffs as well. A majority in Parliament also supported the Green position on the inclusion of nano-foods in the list of ingredients and on the provision of precise information on the kind of vegetable oil used in a given product.
With honey bee populations in decline across the world Greens have fought hard to protect these vital pollinators from the use of toxic pesticides. In the European Parliament, and in the face of fierce opposition from the pesticide industry – and the UK Government, Jean helped push through a suspension of the use of toxic bee killing pesticides called neonicotinoids.
Green MEPs continue to oppose the use of genetically modified crops in agriculture, and they’ve been instrumental in ensuring that laws proposed on GM crops are some of the toughest in the world. In the Parliament Greens worked to ensure that EU countries retain the right to ban GMO use. Greens also managed to ensure that all Member States are obliged both to implement anti-contamination measures to avoid the uncontrolled spread of pollen and to put in place a liability system in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle.