European People's Party
Safe and healthy food is essential for the health and the well-being of European Citizen. The EPP Group has always been committed to ensuring food security and the health of EU citizens. Increased food controls are crucial for the trust of the citizens’ in what they eat: We want Europe to act in a stronger and smarter way to combat food fraud in order to prevent scandals.
a) Better Enforcement of Food Legislation: The problem highlighted by the recent horse-meat scandal lies, not in the lack of rules (rules on labelling and traceability exist), but in the fact these rules are poorly respected and that there are insufficient controls in certain member states, responsible for carrying out official controls. Therefore, we crucially need more controls and better enforcement of the existing food labelling rules.
b) Tackling Food fraud: A high priority for the EPP Group will be to fight against food fraud.
- Tougher sanctions against fraud: Food fraud must be tackled with dissuasive and appropriate criminal penalties.
- Stricter anti-fraud controls. Next to the food safety and health controls, higher priority must be given to anti-fraud controls checking whether the labelling corresponds to the actual content of a sold product. Control services must cooperate better across borders.
- Private initiatives to set-up anti-fraud programmes should be encouraged
c) Better Food Labelling
- Greater traceability: The consumer needs to be better informed of the good’s origin, processing and packaging, especially for low-cost-products. Detailed labelling and traceability in the agricultural food-chain, in particular for fresh meat products, is essential for people to know where the food comes. New rules extending the country of origin labelling will apply as of December 2014. Labelling is also a good protection of regional and traditional cuisine, a core aspect of our local identities and the diversity of European culture heritage.
- Healthier food choices: Information on food products and labelling, notably on the content and ingredients, also help European citizen to make better choices for a healthy diet and nutrition.
d) The high quality of food depends on the quality of farming and production. A lot has been achieved with the most recent reform of the CAP in maintaining and further developing a competitive agriculture sector that allows European farmers to make a decent standard of living, whilst producing high quality food and taking care of our natural environmental. The EPP Group will pursue its priorities in three main areas:
- A competitive farming sector: The EPP stands for a strong, efficient and sustainable farming sector that serves European farmers and consumers, promotes rural development and protects and enhances the natural environment. For this purpose, European policy must also acknowledge the varying farming conditions throughout Europe.
- Support for young farmers: The EPP prioritizes a strong support for young farmers, given that 30 % of Europe's farmers are aged over 65 and that only 6% are under 35.
- Development of rural areas: For the EPP, the support and the economic development of rural areas representing over 77% of EU territory and being home to around half of its population is fundamentally important for Europe's future. There is no future for rural areas without agriculture.
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament
When the European Parliament rejected the Commission's proposal for plant reproductive material law –mainly known as the “seed regulation” – in March 2013, it clearly showed that it’s not led by agro TNCs etc. Nevertheless there is a clear tendency towards more influence of industries which are lobbying on different levels within the European institutions. The position of the Socialists is clear: The Parliament is the citizens’ chamber of Europe, representing citizens, not companies nor GMO industries.
European United Left–Nordic Green Left
EU GMO policy is sub-standard. Public health protection, conservation of the environment, transparency, informed consumer choice and promotion of rural and socioeconomic development must inform any meaningful policy. For us, it is necessary to reject the control of seeds by multinational GMO patent holders. We also need to encourage and promote sustainable production methods as a way to guarantee the development of rural areas and food sovereignty.
* Greeklish.info has asked all the political groups for an interview