ARC Newsflash – June 2014


Dear friends and supporters,
We at ARC are doing a bit of spring cleaning as we enter the post-CAP refrom phase and look ahead onto the agri-food landscape. As part of this, we will be making changes to our online home, Before we get to work, we want to know exactly how we can best be of use to our members and supporters. To help shape the ARC website into a better resource for you, please take a few moments toanswer our survey; it’s short and would be very helpful for us if you could find the time to do this. There are just seven questions which will take about three minutes to answer in total.

Below are some highlights from the month of May: TTIP, antibiotics, CAP, land grab, fertilizer regulations and Kishantos feature.

Shirin Kiamanesh –
Communications Manager
Oliver Moore –

EU Correspondent

EFSA slammed over its methods

Worrying trends in how pesticide safety is measured by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have been uncovered by Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN).  In response to a EFSA 2014 report, based on 2011 residue levels, PAN Europe denounced “the fact that EFSA still does not take into account long-term exposure to pesticides mixtures through food.”  They added, “26.5% of the food we consume contains at least two pesticides and the potential synergistic effect of these multiple exposures is not taken into account in EFSA’s risk assessment”. What’s more, the “EFSA has made a massive relaxation of MRLs in 2008″ which reduced the appearance of the problem, but not the reality, they contend.  Moreover, as Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and others have reveled, the ESFA have had very close connections to the pesticide industry, connections for which they have twice been wrapped over the knuckles for by the European Parliament in 2012 and even earlier this year.

Four-part series on Livestock
In May, we dug into a new study on the possible effects of reducing livestock in the EU. The study argues that if meat, milk and egg consumption were to drop by 50%, Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions would drop by 40%.  Weinterviewed the authors on some of the key findings and their methodology, then dug a little deeper into some of the more contentious aspects of the study, asking why the study doesn’t prioritise different parts of Europe rather than a general reduction (they did not add detailed nuance to regions in Europe with different livestock production regimes) and why no alternative methods are looked at (small changes in agricultural practices were considered by the authors, not major changes). The feature caused quite a stir, and we posted some reactions here.  Finally, after hearing out the case for less meat and the case for better meat, we shared a guest post by Irish food historian Frank Armstrong making the case for no meat.

Forum Synergies Youth Scholarships

Forum Synergies’ trainee exchange programme offers young people the opportunity to learn from people and organisations dedicated to sustainable local and rural development.  Beyond the scholarship, the goal is also to motivate and enable young people to become active in the place where they live and to implement the lessons learned through the scholarship. Learn more about the idea behind the scholarships and who can apply here.

They are accepting applications for trainees, and are also looking for people or organisations which relevant experiences who would like to host a trainee.

Host registration form
Trainee registration form

Upcoming Events and Policy Dates

June 5-6 – Sustainable Foods Summit 2014, Amsterdam

June 12 – Options and tools in reaching a greener CAP: NGO Meeting on CAP and RDP implementation, Budapest

June 19 – European Commission Conference: Land as a Resource, Brussels, Belgium

September 10 – 8th European Organic Congress, Bari, Italy

Find all events listed on ARC2020 here.

Featured Campaign 

There is a lot of room for improvement in the current food system, so much so that fighting for change can really bring you down.  While it’s important to take stock of the problems – such asthe ongoing serious issues with bees – there its also life affirmingly important to value and focus on solutions.  Confédération Paysanne, an ARC member and French union of small and medium sized sustainable farmers, has put together a video that outlines where we are as well as where we could be.  Watch ‘On the Road’, (in French, with English subtitles) for a reminder of why a better CAP really matters.

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