Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Taking action and being part of the solution

The following letter was sent to a supporter by her MEP and we thought you might like to read it. If you live in Eurpope, do you think you could write to your MEP as well? The only way the people in the EC Parliament will know of the problems is if people like you and me tell them isn't it?!



Thank you very much for contacting Edward McMillan-Scott MEP concerning the labelling of palm oil products.

May I take this opportunity to assure you that the Conservative Party fully supports the plight of the world's dwindling orang-utan population, and a report on animal welfare by Edward's Conservative colleague and chairman of the Agriculture Committee Neil Parish MEP was recently passed in a Strasbourg Plenary session. The Parish report entitled "Protection of animals used for scientific purposes (repeal. Directive 86/609/EEC)" not only ensures that all Member States apply the same far-reaching protection for animals, but goes on to implement a ban on the use of great apes that are threatened with extinction, except for experiments intended to conserve their species.

One of the uses of palm oil is as a biofuel; it is sadly the case that rainforest has been cleared in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil to make way for the production of palm oil. It must be pointed out, however, that only a small proportion of palm oil from these areas is used in biofuels. About 85% of palm oil goes to make food and 8% to the pharmaceutical industry. Edward sees no point in meeting EU mandatory biofuel targets if the world's rainforests are devastated in the process. He shall not commit to any policy on biofuels that puts human or wildlife habitats at risk, as could be the case if we rush into a policy of expanding biofuel production without considering its effect on the environment.

With regards to food labelling, German MEP Renate Sommer is steering a report on food information to consumers through the European Parliament. The vote on her report and amendments by MEPs in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee - which total over 1,000 amendments - has been postponed until the next Parliamentary term begins. If the members of ENVI vote in favour of the report and its various amendments it will then face a Plenary vote by all MEPs. To read the text of Ms Sommer's report, please visit this link:


You may also be interested to learn that the Conservative Party is running an "Honest Food" campaign which you can view at the following link:


I hope this information is of use to you.

Many thanks once again for contacting this office.

Kind regards,

Helen Willetts

Miss Helen Willetts

Assistant to Edward McMillan-Scott MEP (Yorkshire & Humber, UK, Conservative)

Vice-President of the European Parliament