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Australia asks EU to stop blocking vaccine exports

Australia asks EU to stop blocking vaccine exports

Health
Australia is seeking assurances from the European Commission that shipments of vaccines are not blocked again after Italy banned a large export of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shotsByThe Associated PressMarch 5, 2021, 9:38 AM• 3 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleBRUSSELS -- Australia is seeking assurances from the European Union's executive arm that future shipments of vaccines will not be blocked, after Italy banned a large export of the AstraZeneca coronavirus shots.The shipment to Australia of more than a quarter-million doses was blocked from leaving the 27-nation bloc — the first use of an export control system instituted by the EU to make sure big pharma companies respect their EU contracts.The ban was requested by Italian authorities and approved by the EU in...
Exports to the EU have plummeted by 68% since Brexit

Exports to the EU have plummeted by 68% since Brexit

Business
The volume of exports going through British ports to the EU fell by 68% last month compared with January last year, according to research.The Road Haulage Association's chief executive Richard Burnett told The Observer that the organisation had also found 65-75% of vehicles arriving from the EU were returning to the bloc empty. This was due to a lack of goods, delays in the UK, and because British companies had stopped exporting to the continent.Mr Burnett said it was "deeply frustrating and annoying that ministers have chosen not to listen to the industry and experts" who have consistently called for more government consultation. [embedded content] He also said he had received no response from cabinet minister Michael Gove, despite his associa...
Gene editing of British produce could hamper exports to the EU

Gene editing of British produce could hamper exports to the EU

Technology
The body representing food and drink manufacturing in the UK warns there could be "barriers" to exporting English farmed foods if gene editing is allowed. The government has launched a consultation on whether to green light the process, which it says could allow farmers to grow crops that perform better and reduce impact on the environment. The process is highly restricted in the EU, after the European Court of Justice ruled in 2018 that gene editing must come under the same strict rules as genetic modification.The Food and Drinks Federation (FDF) has welcomed the consultation - but told Sky News if gene editing is allowed in England, it could create hurdles for farmers exporting goods to the EU.Helen Munday, chief scientific officer of the FDF, said: "We feel positive there are some ...
Amazon soya and beef exports ‘linked to deforestation’

Amazon soya and beef exports ‘linked to deforestation’

Science
Up to one-fifth of Brazil's soya exports to the European Union may be "contaminated" by illegal deforestation, a study has found.Researchers used freely available maps and data to identify the specific farms and ranches clearing forests to produce soya and beef destined for Europe. They found 2% of properties were responsible for 62% of illegal deforestation.These "bad apples" have global environmental consequences, they said.Prof Raoni Rajão, of the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil, said it was up to the country's political and economic leaders to root out "the bad apples in the soy and beef sectors". "Brazil has the information it needs to take swift and decisive action against these rule-breakers to ensure that ...
Bill proposes ban on plastic waste exports

Bill proposes ban on plastic waste exports

Science
Exporting polluting plastic waste to developing countries will be banned or restricted under a new law.The rule presented to the UK Parliament is aimed at protecting poorer nations against becoming the dumping ground for unwanted rubbish.The latest trade data shows that some 356,233 tonnes of plastic waste was sent for recycling from the UK to developing countries in 2018. The plastic often ends up dumped in waterways.This has resulted in many developing countries sending back waste to rich nations.The revised Environment Bill also rules that firms producing packaging must take more responsibility for products and materials they put on the market.Environmentalists say the bill should also include measures to reduce the amount of ...