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17. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 82/75

For the reasons given the study recommends a change in the EU agricultural market rules on molasses.

1. Does the Commission believe that the current EU agricultural market rules have an adverse effect on the
competitive position of the yeast industry?

2. Has the Commission taken or does it intend to take the measures proposed in the study for overcoming the
competitive disadvantages of the EU yeast industry? If so, what measures are involved?

3. Does the Commission consider it desirable for pollution by the yeast industry to be curbed through the use
of purer raw materials, and what measures does it believe should be taken to this end?

4. How does the Commission view the proposal that, where sugar is used to produce yeast, a production
refund should be paid, that yeast should be included in the annex to Regulation No 1010/86 (1) and that
Regulations Nos 3033/80 (2) and 3034/80 (3) should permit the production of yeast from sugar?

5. Would the measures proposed in question 4 have adverse effects on the sugar industry? How could this be
prevented?

(1) OJ L 94, 9.4.1986, p. 9.


(2) OJ L 323, 29.11.1980, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 323, 29.11.1980, p. 7.

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission


(4 September 1997)

The environmental burden to which the Honourable Member refers stems from the use of molasses as a raw
material as opposed to the purer glucose and sugar. The choice of molasses has been made by yeast
manufacturers on the basis of cost considerations alone and it is accordingly just, in the Commission’s view, that
they should bear the consequences of their actions when these lead to additional costs for ensuring that the
national and Community effluent standards are met. In reply to the specific questions posed by the Honourable
Member:

1. - 3. The Commission believes that the common agricultural policy is ensuring the availability to the yeast
industry of agricultural products at reasonable prices. The reform process begun in 1992 is furthermore
generating lower cereals prices which in their turn should lead to lower market prices for the use of glucose as a
purer raw material for yeast manufacture.

4. - 5. The Commission is aware that yeast is not admitted as an eligible product for receiving the production
refund on certain sugar products used in the chemical industry (Council Regulation (EEC) No 1010/86 laying
down general rules for the production refund on certain sugar products used in the chemical industry). Although
Regulation (EEC) No 1010/86 is regularly reviewed by the Commission in close cooperation with the Member
States, yeast has not until now been considered eligible for addition to this Regulation.

(98/C 82/126) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2433/97


by Wilmya Zimmermann (PSE) to the Commission
(17 July 1997)

Subject: Rights of the Tupinikim and the Guaranis to their land (Brazil)

Aracruz Celulosa, a multinational company, produces and commercializes cellulose in Espirito Santo (Brazil) in
an area to which the Tupinikim indians lay claim. Under the Brazilian constitution, indians have an historic right
to the land which they have owned and occupied from time immemorial.
C 82/76 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 17. 3. 98

The Tupinikim, who were joined some years ago by a group of Guaranis, have asked the Funai (the competent
organ of the Brazilian Government) to return the land that was taken away from them. They have reafforestation
plans and want to reintegrate the members of their tribe − who are for the most part destitute and scattered −
back into society and so make it possible for them to survive as an independent ethnic group.

Is the Commission aware of the situation described above? What steps will it take to prevent imports of cellulose
made by Aracruz Celulosa, which has highly dubious production methods, from reaching Europe?

Answer given by Mr Marı́n on behalf of the Commission


(15 September 1997)

The three reserves located on land owned by Aracruz Celulosa (most of the capital of which is Community held)
have gone through all the stages of the territorial demarcation process (boundary marking) provided for by
Brazilian law and are already officially recognised. This demarcation process is being carried out in partnership
with the Indians.

Aracruz Celulosa has always conducted its activities within the confines of its property and respected all the
rights and lands of the Indians. In recent years the company has carried out health and education measures for the
Indians living on its property. In its sector of activity the company is seen as one of those most committed to
protection of the environment. In the last few years it has carried out a rapid reforestation programme on the
whole of its property.

A ban on imports of cellulose to Europe on the grounds of a company's production methods would not comply
with current WTO rules.

However, the WTO trade and environment committee is continuing its work to decide whether amendments to
multilateral trade rules are needed to ensure their compatibility with multilateral agreements on the environment.
In this connection, an ever growing number of NGO and representatives of civil society are calling for a
convention on the protection of forests. The Commission is following these developments closely and remains
sensitive to the links between trade and the environment.

(98/C 82/127) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2434/97


by Terence Wynn (PSE) to the Commission
(11 July 1997)

Subject: VAT on Women’s sanitary products

The current EU rate of VAT on sanitary products is 5%.

Does the Commission envisage that this could be reduced to a zero-rate in the near future?

Answer given by Mr Monti on behalf of the Commission


(18 September 1997)

Under current Community legislation Member States may apply a reduced rate of at least 5% to sanitary
protection products (Article 12(3)(a) and Annex H (category 3) of the 6th VAT Directive 77/388/EEC (1)). This
arrangement is an option only and in fact most Member States impose the standard rate on sanitary products for
women.