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Month: May 2020

[Marketing Medium] Consumers don’t want more expensive food

Brussels, BE – In a presentation to the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, Frans Timmermanns, Commissioner for the European Green Deal, explained that more sustainable food requires higher prices. “We’ve gotten used to everything being very, very cheap and I honestly believe that if there’s re-evaluation, and health gets a bigger priority, then the willingness to pay a little bit more for better foodstuffs might increase,” he said. 

source http://meltwater.pressify.io/publication/5eb91c4a4959ae0004807269/5aa837df2542970e001981f6

[Marketing Medium] Consumers don’t want more expensive food

Brussels, BE – In a presentation to the Agriculture Committee of the European Parliament, Frans Timmermanns, Commissioner for the European Green Deal, explained that more sustainable food requires higher prices. “We’ve gotten used to everything being very, very cheap and I honestly believe that if there’s re-evaluation, and health gets a bigger priority, then the willingness to pay a little bit more for better foodstuffs might increase,” he said. 

from Consumer Choice Center https://ift.tt/3fHqbrw

Боротьба за вакцину від COVID-19

“Лікарі без кордонів” (фр. Medecins sans frontiers, MSF) неймовірно успішно захищають інтереси пацієнтів по всьому світу. Організація має зразковий досвід залучення лікарів на передових бойових зон, а також під час голодоморів та пандемій — допомагаючи тим пацієнтам, які залишилися самі та постраждали внаслідок руйнівних криз.

Під час епідемії еболи у Західній Африці 2014-2015 рр. MSF була провідною організацією боротьби за права пацієнтів та зробила набагато більше, ніж Всесвітня організація охорони здоров’я (ВООЗ), яка є бюрократичною і часто реагує занадто повільно. За це та попередні 48 років служби MSF потрібно аплодувати стоячи.

Однак їхнє нинішнє опозиційне ставлення до патентів на ліки від COVID-19, витікає з неправильного розуміння значення прав інтелектуальної власності для медичних інновацій.

MSF також проводить кампанію щодо доступу до лікарських засобів, яка спотворює реалії ринку ліків, закликаючи до рішень, які завдають шкоди науковим інноваціям. Кампанія “за доступ до основних лікарських засобів” хоче зробити лікарські засоби у країнах, що розвиваються, більш доступними, вирішуючи питання щодо ціни на ліки та прав інтелектуальної власності. На думку MSF, виробники та дослідники збагачуються за рахунок тих хто не може собі дозволити лікарські засоби.

MSF помиляється в тому, що права інтелектуальної власності та патенти перешкоджають інноваціям. Навпаки, саме вони дозволяють забезпечити прогрес у галузі медицини.

Десятки фармацевтичних компаній не тільки почали шукати вакцину проти Covid-19, але і залучили багато ресурсів для отримання мільйонів тестів. Вони також досліджують потенційні препаратами проти коронавірусної хвороби, і жертвують гроші та матеріали для покращення системи охорони здоров’я в усьому світі.

Насправді, благодійні зусилля фармацевтичних компаній вражають. Вони пропонують благодійну підтримку, в тому числі організаціям, які працюють з пацієнтами на місцях. Однак “Лікарі без кордонів” заявили, що не прийматимуть пожертв у формі лікарств від фармацевтичних компаній, а натомість купуватимуть їх за ринковими цінами. Донори MSF, ймовірно, будуть приголомшені дізнатись, що їхні пожертви витрачаються на ліки, які MSF могло б отримати безкоштовно.

У той час як фармацевтична індустрія також дуже піклується про доступ, нефункціональні системи охорони здоров’я, однак інфраструктура часто є бар’єром між пацієнтом та лікуванням чи вакциною. Ми повинні усвідомити, що благодійні дії можливі лише за умови заохочення права на отримання прибутку. Фармацевтичні компанії розробляють препарати, захищають свої винаходи та отримують прибуток. Якщо забрати патентні права, стимул до інновацій зникає, а рятувальні ліки, ціна створення яких приголомшливо велика, не потрапляють на ринок.

“Лікарі без кордонів” закликають не допустити заробляння на новому коронавірусі, ігноруючи при цьому значні благодійні пожертви, які допомагають зупинити цей вірус. Насправді, більшість зусиль витрачених на боротьбу з хворобою — це державно-приватні партнерства, як і у випадку з еболою.

Потрібно також пам’ятати, що позбавлення компаній можливості отримувати прибуток від ліків виключає стимули та ігнорує ризики, а також витрати на роботу над новим препаратом. Чи маємо ми право очікувати від працівників лабораторій безкоштовно приходити на роботу, коли з нею та з взаємодією з колегами пов’язано безліч ризиків?

Ідея так званих примусових ліцензій, яка фактично відбирає патент у виробника в одній країні та передає його іншій, може навіть ще більше затримати введення вакцини від COVID-19. Для виготовлення та доставки робочої вакцини потрібні ноу-хау та ланцюгові поставки. Сумнівно, чи вакцина, виготовлена ​​за примусовим ліцензуванням, насправді буде дешевшою, ніж оригінальна.

Багато можна сказати про виробництво ліків та доступ до основних лікарських засобів. Але належну дискусію потрібно проводити на основі певних основних фактів. Серед них є те, що фармацевтичні компанії вкладають величезні суми грошей у забезпечення життєво необхідних ліків а також вживають заходів для допомоги тим, хто цього потребує. COVID-19 призвів до однієї з найбільших криз у сфері охорони здоров’я всіх часів- інновації та медичні прориви потрібні зараз як ніколи. Нівелювання прав інтелектуальної власності або їх знищення, безумовно, тільки погіршить ситуацію і не призведе до проривів, які в кінцевому рахунку могли б вивести нас із цього кошмару.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Top železničné stanice – aké je ich tajomstvo? Tu je rebríček 10 najlepších

Najlepšie železničné stanice Európy? Dá sa z nich docestovať do najväčšieho počtu destinácií, sú upratané a vždy čisté, disponujú dostatočným počtom sociálnych zariadení, ktoré sa cestujúci nemusia obávať použiť, sú prehľadné a zariadené tak, že ani vozíčkari či rodičia s kočíkmi nemajú problém nastúpiť na vlak…

Podľa rebríčka European Railway Station Index, ktorý zostavila spoločnosť Consumer Choice Center, je v top desiatke najviac takýchto železničných uzlov v Nemecku.

Read more here


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

Hidden Dangers of Nannying Revealed by Pandemic

One of the fundamental questions raised by the pandemic is whether individuals can be entrusted to follow social distancing rules voluntarily or whether government force is necessary to accomplish that end. Most governments have channelled the latter assumption in the fight against COVID-19. After years of ratcheting our lifestyle of freedoms, that doesn’t come as a surprise.

From cannabis to tobacco and sugar consumption, lifestyle regulations infantilise consumers by “nudging” them toward what some government officials believe is best for them. The psychology behind such an approach is straightforward: if we continuously tell somebody they are incapable of choosing for themselves, they eventually come to believe it. Nannying consumers from A to Z and then all of a sudden expecting them to skip a Thursday pub night for the sake of social distancing is inconsistent, to say the least.

There are of course some good intentions behind various lifestyle regulations. Tobacco plain packaging and taxes, for instance, are meant to deter consumers because of both look and price. The plain packaging of sweets, crisps and sugary drinks is intended to drive down our consumption of sugar. Thus, branding bans are seen as a major tool by some in public health. But these measures beg two questions. First, do they have any propensity for success? Second, in light of the pandemic, can we afford to diminish the culture of individual responsibility through paternalism?

We know plain packaging doesn’t work. In 2012, Australia passed a nationwide plain packaging decree on all tobacco products. The goal was to reduce smoking rates. During the first years of the ban, more young people took up smoking. The smoking rates among Australians in the age range of 12-24-year-olds increased from 12 per cent in 2012 to 16 per cent in 2013, whereas it had been declining naturally in the years prior. Little or no improvement was made among people aged 30 or older between 2013 and 2016.

People aged 40–49 continued to be the age group most likely to smoke daily (16.9%) and the smoking rates among this age group went up from 16.2% in 2013. At the same time, Australia has seen an enormous increase in roll-your-own cigarettes: 26% in 2007, to 33% in 2013 and to 36% in 2016.

Consumers should have access to all the information they can get about products and then, crucially, have the freedom to decide for themselves. Branding bans block their access to information about the products they buy and consume. Information is dispersed through branding, and therefore branding bans remove that possibility.

We need individual responsibility more than ever. Our fast-developing and incredibly interconnected world is likely to face more pandemics, and we should be prepared as individuals. The line between collective responsibility — to socially distance for example — and individual responsibility is a thin one. The consequences of the former might affect other people, while the latter concerns only us as individuals.

When we choose to consume sugar, we are the ones responsible for the repercussions and we should be encouraged to bear that responsibility. Going out and shaking hands knowing that we have symptoms of COVID-19 puts at risk other people while staying at home limits our personal freedom. It is only through individual responsibility that we can learn to be socially responsible.

Paternalism destroys our ability to choose for ourselves and be burdened with the consequences. In the case of a pandemic, our failure to exercise our responsibility and sensibility leads to a collective failure and provides a ground for government force, lockdowns and all sorts of questionable interventions.

Ideally, aware of their responsibility and risks, each and every person could have voluntarily chosen to self-isolate, as many people did. But how can we expect individuals to follow public health decrees if we know some of them are ineffective?

First, governments paternalise us through branding bans and other nudges, and then they want us to act responsibly when the pandemic kicks in. This has to change, and we should encourage individual freedom followed by responsibility instead of infantilising consumers.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

[EU] Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan – Consultation

Summary

Every year, 3.5 million people in the EU are diagnosed with cancer, and 1.3 million die from it. Over 40% of cancer cases are preventable. Without reversing current trends, it could become the leading cause of death in the EU. Europe’s beating cancer plan aims to reduce the cancer burden for patients, their families and health systems. It will address cancer related inequalities between and within Member States with actions to support, coordinate and complement Member States’ efforts.

The Commission would like to hear your views.

Roadmaps are open for feedback for 4 weeks. Feedback will be taken into account for further development and fine tuning of the initiative. The Commission will summarise the input received in a synopsis report explaining how the input will be taken on board and, if applicable, why certain suggestions can’t be taken up. Feedback received will be published on this site and therefore must adhere to the feedback rules

Feedback period

04 February 2020 – 07 May 2020  (midnight Brussels time)


Response

As a consumer advocacy group representing two million consumers in Europe, we welcome the Commission’s ambition to beat cancer. However, we would like to emphasise the importance of approaching the issue from a multi-sided and, most importantly, scientific perspective. 

It has been suggested multiple times that increasing tobacco taxation and/or prohibiting branding of tobacco products is a sensible way forward. Although the intended consequences of such a policy are not straightforward, their potential harm cannot be dismissed. Helping consumers quit tobacco consumption is a noble goal in itself. However, it is important to keep in mind that compulsion – such as taxation – doesn’t always achieve the expected results. Consumers should be seen as responsible for their own wellbeing when taking an informed choice to smoke. In the spirit of showing respect for consumer choice, encouragement might be a more balanced way forward. Creating and sustaining conditions under which adult smokers are able to switch to healthier options such as e-cigarettes, vaping devices, or snus is not only a forward-looking solution, but also the ones that demonstrate the Commission’s commitment to tackling cancer without undermining consumer choice.

Vaping has been proven to be 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco, and has been endorsed by international health bodies as a safer alternative. Joachim Schüz, head of environment and radiation at the WHO’s cancer research agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, said e-cigarettes are in “no way as harmful” as tobacco cigarettes and could help heavy smokers to quit.

Traditional cigarettes, when burned, create more than 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which have been identified as potential carcinogens. 

Vape devices, on the other hand, contain completely different ingredients. The two main ingredients used in vape liquids are propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG), both used to form the vapour and add flavour to it. Added to these two ingredients is a third, usually a common food flavouring found in cakes, oils, and other food items that help give the vape liquid its taste. All of these aforementioned compounds are common food ingredients that are deemed healthy and safe by regulatory bodies including the EFSA. The other variable ingredient in vape liquid is nicotine, the stimulant alkaloid. Though not all liquids contain this addictive chemical, it is widely seen as the main draw for former smokers looking to quit smoking. When compared to other alternatives in getting people to quit, including Nicotine Replace Therapy (NRT) patches and drugs, vaping has been found to be more effective. 

The belief that e-cigarettes are unsafe and cause a number of lung diseases doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. There is sufficient evidence proving that the vast majority of reported illnesses associated with vaping in places such as the United States were caused by illicit cannabis vape cartridges sold on the black market, not those purchased legally in licensed retailers. Banning or regulating devices and liquids, whether with flavours or not, would only drive demand to the black market which won’t solve the cancer problem. Allowing vaping products as harm reduction tools for adult smokers should be a key priority of the Commission’s cancer strategy.

We need to encourage the marketing and branding of safe and legal vaping products. Consumer information is necessary in order to crowd out dangerous black market products.

On behalf of the consumers and with a view to helping the Commission find the soundest way to tackle cancer, we, therefore, suggest the following:

  • Endorse e-cigarettes as an effective way of helping smokers move to a safer alternative and eventually quit if they desire to do so
  • Allow advertising of e-cigarettes in print, on television and radio in order to inform consumers better of the harm-reducing potential of vaping nicotine

In our opinion, these steps would be an effective way to reduce cancer rates in Europe.

How liability lawsuits drive up drug prices, stifle innovation, and harm patients

A single drug can cost up to 2 million dollars per treatment. In the light of COVID-19, patient groups and activists have been using the crisis of the moment to call for capping drug and vaccine prices and cracking down on barriers to access for patients. In developing countries, large parts of drug prices are caused by tariffs, taxes, and other regulatory barriers. The United States, on the other hand, has the highest per-capita drug expenditure and drug prices in the world.

Bringing a drug to the US market is usually critical for a company to recoup the roughly 2 billion dollars of development costs per successfully launched medicine. At the same time, the country’s unique legal liability and injury system (called tort law) leads to higher drug prices without necessarily creating benefits for patients. Once a drug has passed the rigorous approval process demonstrating safety and efficacy to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is still subject to various liability laws at the state level.

In the last two decades, Pfizer set aside a whopping 21 billion dollars for settlements following tort lawsuits against the diet drug Fen-Phen. Those who were harmed by the drug were able to seek legal recourse. That said, thousands and thousands of people who were not harmed by the drug were also able to seek compensation. So much so that it is assumed that at least 70% of the payouts went to claimants who weren’t harmed at all by the drug.

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay 8 billion dollars to one patient for side effects caused by the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. These are just a few examples of a plethora of multi-billion-dollar payments drug companies have been compelled to make after being dragged to court, despite them being deemed safe by the FDA.

Patient advocates who are passionate about lowering drug prices in the USA should take a serious look at liability laws and how their misuse inflates prices. Abolishing liability beyond FDA requirements could reduce drug prices in the United States by 12 to 120 billion dollars a year and therefore give many more patients access to medicines. 

In 2019, US patients spent a total of $360 billion on prescription drugs. Between 3 and 30% of this amount could be freed up for other treatments or price cuts if liability rules for FDA-approved drugs would be reformed. This change might seem radical, but it is what Congress has approved for FDA-approved medical devices. A similar preemption was extended to vaccines in the late 1980s via the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Another impact of lawsuits following product withdrawals of FDA-approved drugs is that they negatively affect new investments in development. Pfizer’s settlement for Fen-Phen alone could have been used to bring 10-15 new innovative and life-saving drugs to patients.

Rather than using these financial resources for more research and development, or to lower drug prices, pharmaceutical manufacturers have to fight law firms who enrich themselves by abusing the US tort system. Tort law on top of FDA regulation is not just stifling innovation, but also an expensive way to compensate for the harm caused to patients. Paul H. Rubin suggests that the costs of settlement for the legal process account for half of the total settlement fees. Reducing this burden could increase the speed of new drugs being developed and reduce their price. Critics of tort reform will say that changing liability rules will endanger patients, but that’s far from the truth. A 2007 study shows that tort law reform in some states led to a total of 24,000 fewer deaths due to price reductions and the arrival of new innovative drugs. That’s something to keep in mind.

As long as we keep existing tort law on top of the FDA approval framework, consumers are being de facto forced to pay a massive markup on drugs in order to get insured against potential side effects. This is a very expensive and inefficient way of insuring patients against harm. 

A smarter way of designing such a compensation scheme is to either expand the vaccine compensation scheme to pharmaceuticals or to allow consumers to personally purchase insurance against such damages. This could, for instance, be supplementary insurance on top of the patient’s existing health insurance plans. Such a system would allow patients who opt-in much lower fees than the existing mandatory tort law system.

Exempting drugs from state tort law would be an easy step to reduce drug prices without putting patients under more risk. American patients would save billions a year and be able to access more treatments than they can currently. This will lead to a net benefit for patients and the health of the nation. Why not give it a try?

Season 6 of the Free Markets Series now available online

MONTREAL, May 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ – After having aired on PBS affiliates in the United States and Canada, the sixth season of the Free Markets Series is now available online for the entire internet community to enjoy. Six new 30-minute episodes can be found in the dedicated series web library, and on social media networks.

The Free Markets Series introduces viewers to the principles of the free market through interviews with some of the most dynamic and influential thinkers and activists in the United States and Canada. Season 6 features:

  • Calixto Chikiamco, President of the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF), a public advocacy organization in Quezon City, Philippines whose mission is to advance the cause of economic and political liberty, good governance, secure and well-defined property rights, market-oriented reforms, and consumer protection;
  • John Tillman, CEO of the Illinois Policy Institute, an independent organization generating public policy solutions aimed at promoting personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois;
  • Bill Wirtz, senior policy analyst for the Consumer Choice Center, a consumer advocacy group based in Brussels, Belgium that supports lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice;
  • Daniel Di Martino, Venezuelan freedom activist and economist, he is a Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise at the University of Kentucky;
  • Peter St. Onge, Senior Fellow at the Montreal Economic Institute, he was assistant professor at Taiwan’s Feng Chia University, has served as a fellow at the Mises Institute, and was general partner of a private equity fund in Washington, D.C.; and
  • Hon. Douglas Gingsburg, Senior Circuit Judge, was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1986; he served as Chief Judge from 2001 to 2008. He is a Professor of Law at the Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, and visiting professor at the University College London, Faculty of Laws.

These unique interviews are conducted by none other than Bob Scully, host of The World Show, who was named the 2012 Person of the Year by American Public Television.

Some of the topics discussed in these fascinating interviews include the benefits of cryptocurrency, shifting power back to workers, defending the rule of law, pushing back against the nanny state, transforming agriculture and defending freedom.

The Free Markets Series is produced by The World Show in partnership with the Montreal Economic Institute. The World Show is a syndicated television program broadcast across North America, on 304 stations affiliated with American PBS. It is seen in 141 markets across 44 U.S. states, including in nine of the top ten Nielsen DMA markets.

“The Montreal Economic Institute and The World Show are proud to be able once again to offer television and internet viewers the opportunity to delve into some of the principles of the free market, and how they relate to the issues of the day, as expressed by these respected thinkers discussing their life’s work,” says Michel Kelly-Gagnon, President and CEO of the MEI.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

La sostenibilidad y la innovación deberían ir de la mano en la UE

En las últimas dos décadas, Europa ha decidido seguir su propio camino en las políticas agrícolas. Si bien tanto América del Norte como América del Sur, y también Japón se han movido a una agricultura moderna aún más impulsada por la tecnología, Europa ha retrocedido y sigue prohibiendo cada vez más avances y métodos científicamente probados en la agricultura. En conversaciones comerciales recientes, los principales diplomáticos estadounidenses se han burlado repetidamente del marco regulatorio en la UE como anacrónico.

«Debemos eliminar las restricciones a la adopción de nuevos enfoques y tecnologías innovadores, incluidas restricciones regulatorias excesivamente onerosas e innecesarias, y vamos a decir la verdad a nuestros ciudadanos sobre tecnología, productividad y seguridad».

Esas fueron las palabras del Secretario de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos, Sonny Perdue en un artículo de opinión publicado en Euractiv en febrero. De manera un poco menos diplomática, el embajador de Estados Unidos en el Reino Unido, Woody Wilson, acuñó el enfoque de la UE «Museo de la Agricultura». en un artículo de opinión para The Telegraph solo este marzo.

Tanto Perdue como Wilson sostienen que las restricciones de la Unión Europea a la tecnología agrícola moderna no son sostenibles y limitan severamente los futuros acuerdos comerciales.

Juzgar si son correctos o no no está relacionado con cuánto amas u odias a los Estados Unidos, sino cuánto amas u odias la estabilidad de los precios de los alimentos. Nosotros, los europeos, podemos juzgar esto nosotros mismos.

Vamos a evaluar la situación tal como es. Tanto la agricultura convencional como la orgánica se ocupan de las plagas de las que deben deshacerse para no poner en peligro la seguridad alimentaria y la estabilidad de precios para los consumidores. Ambos requieren productos químicos como parte de sus herramientas de protección de cultivos.

Como muestra África, las plagas de langostas pueden ser devastadoras para la seguridad alimentaria, y la ciencia climática nos permite detectar que ciertas plagas vendrán de lugares distantes a nuestras costas más temprano que tarde, lo que hace que los insecticidas sean necesarios. Para evitar hongos y micotoxinas mortales, utilizamos fungicidas.

Políticamente, estas herramientas de protección de cultivos químicos no son populares, ya que una cantidad cada vez mayor de ambientalistas empuja a los políticos a prohibirlas. Esto ha dejado el espectro político de izquierda vs. derecha y se distribuye equitativamente en ambos lados.

Desafortunadamente, si las autoridades de seguridad alimentaria nacionales e internacionales han demostrado que estos productos químicos son seguros o no, en el contexto de la política moderna posterior a la verdad, es muy poco.

Lo que parece importar es que las herramientas modernas de protección de cultivos están etiquetadas como insostenibles. Sin embargo, la sostenibilidad no está suficientemente definida y, por lo tanto, ha servido como una excusa para envalentonar los conceptos erróneos existentes sobre la agricultura.

En todo caso, la sostenibilidad debe basarse en una agricultura moderna e innovadora que satisfaga las necesidades del medio ambiente, la seguridad alimentaria, la seguridad alimentaria y los precios competitivos para los consumidores. Esas herramientas están disponibles para nosotros hoy.

A través de la ingeniería genética, los científicos han encontrado una manera de reducir el uso de productos tradicionales de protección de cultivos, al tiempo que aumentan el rendimiento de los cultivos. Sin embargo, una vez más, una sospecha política hacia la innovación agro-tecnológica impide el camino a seguir, en este caso a través de la directiva de OGM de 2001, que prácticamente prohíbe toda la ingeniería genética con el propósito de los cultivos.

El cambio climático altera la forma en que producimos alimentos, lo queramos o no. Las enfermedades raras y no tan raras nos obligan a adaptar nuestro suministro de alimentos a los consumidores que lo necesitan. Las modificaciones genéticas específicas nos permiten superar mutaciones aleatorias del pasado y desarrollar cambios precisos en el campo de los alimentos.

Estados Unidos, junto con Israel, Japón, Argentina y Brasil, están liderando el mundo con reglas permisivas para la edición de genes. Esta nueva tecnología puede mejorar la esperanza de vida, la seguridad alimentaria y los precios de los alimentos para todos los consumidores. Las reglas de la UE, en comparación, tienen 20 años y no están enraizadas en la ciencia, ya que una cantidad cada vez mayor de científicos ahora explicando.

¿Los estadounidenses quieren competir con los agricultores europeos y vender cantidades crecientes de alimentos en este continente?

Esto no solo es obviamente el caso, sino que también es mutuo. Si invertimos tanto tiempo como lo hacemos en demonizar los productos estadounidenses aquí para promover los productos europeos en el extranjero, entonces serían nuestros agricultores expandiéndose masivamente en el mercado estadounidense con productos superiores. En el escenario, los consumidores mantienen sus elecciones de alimentos, y los minoristas y productores deben estar obligados a etiquetar los orígenes de los alimentos.

Sobre todo, la modificación de nuestras normas sobre nuevas tecnologías de mejoramiento genético (o edición de genes) debe hacerse en interés de los consumidores europeos más que en el de los exportadores estadounidenses. Europa debería liderar el camino hacia la innovación agrícola y dar lecciones para la innovación, no tomarlas de los Estados Unidos. En interés de los consumidores europeos, debemos permitir la innovación y luego ser un líder mundial en ello.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

La durabilité et l’innovation devraient aller de pair dans l’UE

Au cours des deux dernières décennies, l’Europe a décidé de suivre sa propre voie dans les politiques agricoles. Alors que l’Amérique du Nord et du Sud, ainsi que le Japon sont passés à une agriculture moderne encore plus axée sur la technologie, l’Europe a reculé et continue d’interdire de plus en plus de progrès et de méthodes scientifiquement prouvés dans l’agriculture. Lors de récentes négociations commerciales, les meilleurs diplomates américains se sont moqués à plusieurs reprises du cadre réglementaire de l’UE comme anachronique.

«Nous devons lever les obstacles à l’adoption de nouvelles approches et technologies innovantes, y compris des restrictions réglementaires excessivement lourdes et inutiles, et vouloir dire la vérité à nos citoyens sur la technologie, la productivité et la sécurité.»

Ce sont les mots du secrétaire américain à l’Agriculture Sonny Perdue dans un éditorial publié sur Euractiv en février. De façon un peu moins diplomatique, l’ambassadeur des États-Unis au Royaume-Uni, Woody Wilson, a inventé l’approche de l’UE « Museum of Agriculture » dans un éditorial pour The Telegraph en mars dernier.

Tant Perdue que Wilson soutiennent que les restrictions imposées par l’Union européenne aux technologies agricoles modernes ne sont pas durables et limitent gravement les futurs accords commerciaux.

Juger s’ils sont corrects ou non n’est pas lié à combien vous aimez ou détestez les États-Unis, mais à quel point vous aimez ou détestez la stabilité des prix des aliments. Nous, Européens, pouvons nous-mêmes en juger.

Évaluons la situation telle qu’elle est. L’agriculture conventionnelle et biologique traite des ravageurs dont ils doivent se débarrasser afin de ne pas compromettre la sécurité alimentaire et la stabilité des prix pour les consommateurs. Les deux nécessitent des produits chimiques dans le cadre de leurs outils de protection des cultures.

Comme le montre l’Afrique, les fléaux acridiens peuvent être dévastateurs pour la sécurité alimentaire, et la science du climat nous permet de détecter que certains ravageurs viendront de lieux éloignés sur nos côtes plus tôt que tard, rendant les insecticides nécessaires. Afin d’éviter les champignons et les mycotoxines mortelles, nous utilisons des fongicides.

Politiquement, ces outils chimiques de protection des cultures ne sont pas populaires, car des quantités croissantes d’écologistes poussent les politiciens à les interdire. Cela a laissé le spectre politique de gauche contre droite et est également réparti des deux côtés.

Malheureusement, la question de savoir si ces produits chimiques se sont révélés sûrs ou non par les autorités nationales et internationales de sécurité sanitaire des aliments – dans le contexte de la politique post-vérité moderne – très peu.

Ce qui semble avoir de l’importance, c’est que les outils modernes de protection des cultures sont étiquetés comme non durables. Cependant, la durabilité est insuffisamment définie et a donc servi d’excuse pour enhardir les idées fausses existantes sur l’agriculture.

Au contraire, la durabilité devrait être basée sur une agriculture moderne et innovante qui répond aux besoins de l’environnement, de la sécurité alimentaire, de la sécurité alimentaire et des prix compétitifs pour les consommateurs. Ces outils sont à notre disposition aujourd’hui.

Grâce au génie génétique, les scientifiques ont trouvé un moyen de réduire l’utilisation des produits traditionnels de protection des cultures, tout en augmentant le rendement des cultures. Encore une fois, une suspicion politique à l’égard de l’innovation agro-technologique empêche la voie à suivre, en l’occurrence à travers la directive OGM de 2001, qui interdit pratiquement tout génie génétique à des fins de cultures.

Le changement climatique modifie la façon dont nous produisons les aliments, que nous le voulions ou non. Les maladies rares et moins rares nous obligent à adapter notre offre alimentaire aux consommateurs qui en ont besoin. Des modifications génétiques spécifiques nous permettent de surmonter des mutations aléatoires du passé et de développer des changements précis dans le domaine de l’alimentation.

Les États-Unis, avec Israël, le Japon, l’Argentine et le Brésil, sont en tête du monde avec des règles permissives pour l’édition de gènes. Cette nouvelle technologie peut améliorer l’espérance de vie, la sécurité alimentaire et les prix des aliments pour tous les consommateurs. Les règles de l’UE, en comparaison, ont 20 ans et ne sont pas enracinées dans la science, comme l’expliquent de plus en plus de scientifiques.

Les Américains veulent-ils rivaliser avec les agriculteurs européens et vendre des quantités croissantes de nourriture sur ce continent?

Ce n’est pas seulement évidemment le cas, mais c’est aussi réciproque. Si nous investissions autant de temps que nous le faisons dans la diabolisation des produits américains ici pour promouvoir les produits européens à l’étranger, alors nos agriculteurs se développeraient massivement sur le marché américain avec des produits de qualité supérieure. Dans le scénario, les consommateurs conservent leurs choix d’aliments et les détaillants et les producteurs doivent être tenus d’étiqueter l’origine des aliments.

Surtout, la modification de nos règles en matière de nouvelles technologies de sélection (ou d’édition de gènes) doit se faire dans l’intérêt des consommateurs européens plus que dans celui des exportateurs américains. L’Europe devrait montrer la voie en matière d’innovation agricole et donner des leçons pour l’innovation, et non les prendre aux États-Unis. Dans l’intérêt des consommateurs européens, nous devons permettre l’innovation, puis devenir un leader mondial dans ce domaine.

Originally published here.


The Consumer Choice Center is the consumer advocacy group supporting lifestyle freedom, innovation, privacy, science, and consumer choice. The main policy areas we focus on are digital, mobility, lifestyle & consumer goods, and health & science.

The CCC represents consumers in over 100 countries across the globe. We closely monitor regulatory trends in Ottawa, Washington, Brussels, Geneva and other hotspots of regulation and inform and activate consumers to fight for #ConsumerChoice. Learn more at consumerchoicecenter.org

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