Food

How Europe is fattening a Dutch pig farmer who doesn’t play by the rules

Giving farmers a reasonable income and ensuring that their farms are environmentally friendly are key objectives of the Common Agricultural Policy, which accounts for the largest share of the European budget. In practice, the support often disappears into the pockets of large, successful livestock farmers whose businesses emit significant amounts of nitrogen, such as pig …

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The art of looking away

We did not know that public health was at risk. So say the ministers responsible for the 2017 decision to keep quiet about the PFOS contamination. In reality, there were numerous signals that there was a risk. These signals were systematically ignored for fifteen years, according to a reconstruction by Knack and journalistic collective The …

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Green EU subsidy made largest Dutch dairy farmer even bigger

Phosphate ceiling or not, Vreba Melkvee, the largest dairy farm in the Netherlands, continued to grow. During an environmental audit early last year, the company exceeded its provincial environmental permit. The municipality and province are aware of this, but shirk their responsibility. Meanwhile, Vreba receives tons of subsidies each year from the European Agricultural Fund, …

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Harmful neonic pesticides still widely used despite EU-ban

Scientists and activists were euphoric when the EU banned the extremely harmful neonic pesticides in 2018. During the next three years, sixteen EU countries used a legal loophole to circumvent the ban. Research by The Investigative Desk shows that they succumbed to the united lobby of farmers, the sugar industry and pesticide manufacturers. By Tomas …

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Dairy multinational FrieslandCampina finances ‘independent’ science, but only if it leads to increased milk production

FrieslandCampina is the largest private funder of dairy science at Wageningen University & Research, the world’s top agricultural university, based in the Netherlands. The dairy multinational wants to maintain growth and mainly supports science that serves that goal. Meanwhile, research into sustainable alternatives has trouble getting financed. By Irene van den Berg, Tim Luimes en …

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Are Unilever’s ties with Wageningen University too close?

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) takes pride in its excellent relations with the food and agriculture industry. It is particularly close with Unilever. The public-private research projects this global food giant co-finances are supposed to be ‘independent’. The Investigative Lab discovered, however, that the company effectively pulls the strings in all phases of these projects. …

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