In December 2010 the Committee adopted an opinion on the cultivation of GMO's in the EU, CESE 1623/2010 (NAT/480). The opinion was of a predominantly legal character. Nevertheless, it concerns an issue which is extremely complex in nature, and on which many different opinions exist between Member States. A long series of amendments were tabled on the draft opinion both in the Section and the Plenary. Furthermore, given the fact that the file is currently at the centre of discussion between EU institutions and that a total review of the EU legislative framework for GMO's is foreseen in 2012, the Committee may have to take a position again next year.
Therefore, the requesting body is of the opinion that the issue of GMO's merits a supplementary opinion to explore the state of affairs in biotechnology and shed some light on the more technical questions of its application.
The own-initiative opinion, prepared by the EESC Permanent Study Group on Sustainable Food Systems, will aim to identify existing challenges, policy inconsistencies and obstacles to a more coherent food policy approach at EU level; to provide examples of ongoing transitions to more sustainable food policies at local/regional/national level; to highlight the role of civil society in building partnerships among stakeholders across the food supply chain; and to define how a comprehensive food policy for the EU should look, including an indicative roadmap.
The EESC has received a request from the incoming Dutch EU Presidency for an exploratory opinion on how to achieve more sustainable food systems in a resource-constrained world. In the past few years, civil society has been increasingly concerned about the environmental, economic and social impact of unsustainable food chains. Globally, about one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. Food is also one of the most important drivers of environmental pressures. The hearing will represent an opportunity to hear from experts and stakeholders about their views and initiatives for a transition to more sustainable food systems in Europe. The discussion will take a holistic and systemic approach by considering the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainability and the importance of cross-sectoral co-operation across the food supply chain.
Opening Speech at the session Food Market: Polish food sector vs. global raw material crisis – to survive or to win? at the III European Economic Congress in Katowice, Poland.
Food security concerns us all, because it is about the earth's resources, which we all share and use, and because food is vital for life. That’s why we need to ensure that everybody in the world has enough food to eat or the resources and means to grow their own food. Today, 16 October, is World Food Day. For us in the wealthy Europe it is a day to reflect and to consider what we can do to contribute to a change.
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