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European Economic and Social Committee Brussels 29 June 2011

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Presentation on theme: "European Economic and Social Committee Brussels 29 June 2011"— Presentation transcript:

1 European Economic and Social Committee Brussels 29 June 2011
The European Citizens Initiative Empowering the citizens' rights European Economic and Social Committee Brussels 29 June 2011 Marco Contiero Greenpeace European Unit

2 “We call on you to put a moratorium on the introduction of GM crops into Europe and set up an independent, ethical, scientific body to research the impact of GM crops and determine regulation.”

3 WHEN and WHY the Initiative?
March 2010 EC authorization BASF antibiotic-resistant GM potato Disregard to: 1. EU legal requirements, 2. EU members states will 3. Public opinion 4. Advice of medical institutions (WHO, EMEA)

4 1. Health Risks

5 2. Environmental impacts
Insect-resistant crops: 1. Toxicity to ‘non-target’ organisms and beneficial insects. 2. Development of insect resistance Herbicide tolerant (HT) crops: 1. Toxic effects of herbicides on ecosystems. 2. Increased weed tolerance to herbicide 3. Biodiversity loss 4. Effects on soil-plant systems



8 Glyphosate resistant weeds

9 3. Expensive

10 100% 4. Corporate control GM Crops market Bayer BASF Monsanto Syngenta
DuPont Dow 100% Source: ETC Group

11 Global Agrochemical Market
4. Corporate control GM Crops market Global Agrochemical Market Bayer BASF Monsanto Syngenta Bayer DuPont Dow Syngenta Other 100% BASF DuPont Dow Monsanto 74% Source: ETC Group

12 Owners of the Seed Market
Monsanto Other Syngenta DuPont Source: ETC Group

13 5. Hinder sustainable solutions
Agro-ecology UN Report Human Rights Council [United Nations ,Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, 2011] - Agroforestry - Water harvesting - Integration of livestock into farming systems Integrated nutrient management J. Pretty analysis 286 sustainable agriculture projects (57 poor countries) - Average crop increase 79 % - Supply critical environmental services UNCTAD UNEP analysis [UNEP-UNCTAD, 2008] UK Foresight Report (40 projects, 20 African countries) - Average crop increase in Africa 116% and - Average crop increase in East Africa 128% Can double food production in 10 years

14 6. Consumers rejection

15 Facts and Figures How many verifiable signatures? 1030308
How long did it take to collect the signatures? 7 months Citizens in how many countries have signed the initiative? All 27 members states Is our initiative an ECI? European Court of Justice Case law – When EU treaty provides unconditional and sufficiently precise rights, they are directly applicable. (Article 11 TFEU is unconditional and sufficiently precise)


17 Our ECI exceeds many ECI procedures and conditions
Collected over 1 million signatures All the signatures are verifiable From all 27 MSs Met the quota in 12 countries (7 required) Collected signatures in 7 months (1 year limit) Request within the remit of the Commission EU Ombudsman, Nikiforos Diamandouros, said: “It would be a political disaster to have a very large number of signatures and then obtain a decision by the Commission saying that it’s not admissible.”

18 How to get rid of fakes, repeats etc?
The data base collecting the signatures: automatically rejects double signatures only allows one signature per address. All signatures have been screened and incomplete or invalid were removed


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