In short

Published: Wednesday 15 August 2007

eu dumping rules: On June 12, European Union (EU) laid down rules to check illegal dumping of hazardous materials in developing countries. An update of 1993 EU regulations, the new rules require EU governments to carry out inspections and make spot checks of ships in their territory. It also gives governments the right to check containers for their contents and lays out rules for shipments within the EU. For example, the new rule entails that detailed information should be presented with respect to hazardous waste.

new food standards: On July 9, the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a UN body on food standards, adopted more than 50 new safety and quality standards, new guidelines, and some revisions of old standards. It revised hygiene rules for eggs and egg products in order to check diseases and plans to develop more guidelines for making bacterial contamination in chicken less frequent. It will assess risks to consumers from foods derived from biotechnology, including genetically modified foods, and irradiated products.

wetlands in jeopardy: New guidelines issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers on June 5 say that for non-permanent streams and nearby wetlands to be protected there must be a "significant nexus" between the intermittent stream or wetland and a traditional waterway. Environmentalists claim the guideline, decided after much lobbying by property developers, mine owners and farm groups, will jeopardise many intermittent streams and headwaters under the Clean Water Act, 1977. They contend that it will result in less protection of wetlands. It would negate the broader regional importance of many such waterways in the aggregate on water bodies downstream, they said.

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