what was at stake
green position
what we achieved
what we did not achieve

Radioactive contamination of foodstuffs and of feedingstuffs following a nuclear accident

The nuclear meltdown in Fukushima in March 2011 made clear, that nuclear energy remains a risk, which cannot be controlled, not even in highly industrialised countries. As a result of the accident foodstuffs across many regions of Japan was contaminated.

Weeks before the events occured the Parliament adopted a position on thresholds for radioactive contamination in food after nuclear accidents.

The text set out to clarify the procedure for emergency measures concerning the radioactive contamination of food in the event of a nuclear accident or any other radiological emergency occurring in the EU.


What was the Greens' position?

The Greens believe that the thresholds of radioactive contamination as defined in an annex to the Regulation are scientifically outdated, being simply too high, in particular for children and vulnerable members of the population.

Policies on nuclear safety should also be embedded in a broader context of health legislation, not as part of nuclear policy, and must aim to ensure the highest possible level of health protection.

We also think farmers should be compensated for damage caused to their crops, in line with the polluter-pays principle.


Did other MEPs accept the Greens' position?

Thanks to Green amendments, Parliament called for a fundamental legal change, linking the Regulation not to the EURATOM treaties, but to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union so that the Regulation would function based on health protection objectives and legislation, as opposed to nuclear legislation.

We also succeeded in incorporating into the final text demands for a transparent committee of independent scientific experts.

Furthermore, a majority in Parliament urged the Commission to propose revised the contamination thresholds.


Which points did the Greens lose?

Our demands that the current thresholds be rejected were not supported in the legislative process.

Neither the S&D nor EPP backed our call, which was rejected on formal grounds.

More importantly, the Commission and the Member States ignored the compromises reached within Parliament by not taking them on board in the final text adopted by the Council or the respective national legislation.


Procedure:Consultation procedure


Lead MEP:Ivo Belet (EPP)

Green MEP responsible:Michèle Rivasi

Voted:15.02.2011Staff contact:Camilla Bursi (Email)

Outcome of the vote
Below you find the results of the final vote in plenary. How did the political groups vote? What about national delegations? And what was the position of your MEP?