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EXME 10 / 28.07

Midday Express of 2010-07-28

News from the Communication Directorate General's midday briefing

Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Direction Générale Communication

European Civil Protection active in forest fire fighting in Portugal

In the afternoon of Tuesday 27th of July the Portuguese authorities requested assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. Due to its present critical forest fire situation Portugal requested heavy aerial means for forest fire combat operations consisting of two water bomber planes. The request immediately triggered several offers of assistance by Italy, Greece and France. Spain had already assisted Portugal in fighting fires in the Viseu and Braga region. The forest fire situation in Portugal was already critical but has become even more aggravated over the last days. On Tuesday Portugal had already registered a total of 350 forest fires and all national available means were in incessant use.

The weather forecast indicates a continuation of the present scenario, which increases the risk of forest fires: very high temperatures, low humidity levels and winds blowing from the east. The Italian, Greek and French offer consisted of two water bomber planes each. Portugal accepted the Italian offer and these planes are expected to be in place and operational by the beginning of this afternoon. These planes will be based at the Ovar airbase in the North of Portugal.

Commission authorises six GM maize for food and feed uses

The European Commission adopted today five Decisions authorising GM maize 1507x59122, 59122x1507xNK603, MON88017xMON810, MON89034xNK603 and Bt11xGA21 and one Decision renewing the authorisation of Bt11 maize. These 6 decisions cover the authorisation for food and feed uses and import and processing but not for cultivation. The 6 GM maize in question received (between February 2009 and September 2009) a positive safety assessment from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and underwent the full authorisation procedure set out in the EU legislation. As Member States did not succeed to return qualified majority decisions for or against these 6 authorisations/renewal in the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) of February 2010 and April 2010 and then in the Council meeting of 29 June 2010, the dossiers were sent back to the Commission for decision. The authorisations are valid for 10 years, and any products produced from these GM maize will be subject to the EU's strict labelling and traceability rules. The 6 adoptions of today are the result of a usual and standard procedure concerning the authorisation of GMOs to be used in food and feed and have no link with the recently adopted package on cultivation since they do not cover cultivation. For more information, please see: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biotechnology/index_en.htm

Rediffusion

Concentrations: la Commission autorise la concentration entre United Airlines et Continental Airlines

La Commission européenne a autorisé, en application du règlement de l'UE sur les concentrations, le projet de concentration entre les deux transporteurs aériens américains United Airlines et Continental Airlines. Après examen, elle est parvenue à la conclusion que l'opération n’entraverait pas de manière significative l'exercice d'une concurrence effective dans l’Espace économique européen (EEE) ou une partie substantielle de celui-ci.

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