Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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Monday, 25 September 2017
A new initiative aimed at fostering medical research ethics committees in Africa was launched in Paris on 27 January. The 'networking for ethics on biomedical research in Africa' (NEBRA) initiative, financed under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), also intends to encourage the participation of African research ethics committees in the international debate on ethics. 'NEBRA is a logical response to the needs expressed by African partners who want to participate in international medical research and attract medical research for their countries' health priorities,' said NEBRA coordinator François Hirsch, from the French National Institute for Research and Health (INSERM). 'Improved ethical practices will enable the participating countries to attract clinical research fulfilling international requirements in ethics in their regions. As a result, the countries will benefit from the research which will lead to improved management of public health issues like malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis,' he added. The project brings together four African countries, Benin, Gabon, Gambia and Mali, the INSERM, the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC), Germany's Department of Parasitology at the Eberhard Karls University, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). 11 other African countries are also involved in the project as participating countries. Together they will aim to develop a deeper understanding of the ethical issues raised by research in Africa, and identify the people working in that area and their needs.

The Council adopted a Regulation on maximum residue levels of pesticides in food and feed, designed to raise the level of consumer health protection (9262/1/04, 9262/1/04 ADD 1 and 16109/04). The aim of the new, harmonised provisions is twofold: to facilitate trade in food and feed products within the Single Market and with third countries, and to ensure a consistent level of consumer protection across the EU. Under the Regulation, maximum residue levels will always be set at Community level. The role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is also defined; it will be responsible for risk assessment, based on reports from the Member States. The proposal overhauls and streamlines pesticides legislation by replacing four Directives with a single Regulation, at the same time as amending Regulation 91/414/EEC.
The Presidency outlined to the Member States the arrangements for the informal meeting with the Ministers of the sugar-producing ACP countries and LDCs, and briefly recalled that this meeting stemmed from an undertaking made at a previous Council to involve these countries in the discussions under way on the reform of the sugar CMO.
The Spanish delegation congratulated the Presidency on this initiative, and said that it considered the Action Plan on accompanying measures for Sugar Protocol countries affected by the reform of the EU sugar regime (5611/05), presented by the Commission, to be premature in the absence of any legislative proposal. This delegation stated that it would submit a joint statement with the ACP ministerial delegation and the representatives of the LDCs on reform of the sugar CMO. Commissioner Fischer-Boel, questioned on the provisional timetable for reform of the regime, recalled that the Commission was awaiting the decision of the Appellate Body scheduled for 28 April, following a CMO panel initiated by three States, before returning to this issue. She stated that a legislative proposal would be presented in June or at the beginning of July, and that it would be good to have an agreement on this proposal for reform in November 2005, so that the EU could appear in the best possible negotiating position at the WTO Ministerial Conference in Hong Kong in December 2005. After thanking the delegations and the Commission, the Presidency stressed that the views expressed by the sugar-producing ACP countries and LDCs on reform should be taken into consideration when the Commission presented its legislative proposal.
2635th Council Meeting Agriculture and Fisheries - Brussels, 24 January 2005
Thursday, 03 February 2005
The European Commission has notified today to the WTO its intentions concerning the level of duty in the new tariff-only system for the EU’s import regime for bananas. The new tariff proposed by the Commission of 230€ per tonne for most favoured nation (MFN) suppliers - mostly in Latin America - is intended to replace as of 1 January 2006 the present regime based on tariff quotas. The new proposed duty preserves the current level of market access for WTO members exporting bananas to the EU under the WTO’s most favoured nation conditions. The Commission has proceeded with this notification to the WTO under the terms agreed in Doha in 2001. These terms had been explicitly requested by the Latin American exporting countries, and they provide for the possibility of arbitration on the level of the tariff. The EC will maintain a preference for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, in a manner respecting entirely the EU’s obligations and commitments towards all interested parties. The Commission also welcomes as a new and positive element the efforts undertaken by the Presidents of the Latin American exporting countries to foster their cooperation and their openness to discuss the issue with the EU. The Commission intends to intensify its dialogue with these countries in a positive and constructive manner. The Commission would like to stress that the notification of its intentions to the WTO is an unavoidable procedural step that does not preclude constructive engagement with the exporting countries
Tuesday, 01 February 2005
Guidelines have been agreed between the Commission and the Member States to facilitate the implementation of major requirements in the General Food Law (Regulation 178/2002) that entered into force on 1 January 2005. The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, consisting of representatives of the Member States, agreed on this common guidance document to make harmonised implementation in all Member States easier. The specific requirements covered in the guidance document include the traceability of food products, withdrawal of dangerous food products from the market, operator responsibilities and requirements applicable to imports and exports.