Food scares should force EU policy change on food security and imports

IRELAND - The recent outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in Bolivia and the Avian Flu crisis at Bernard Mathews’s farm in the UK are a major new warning to the EU Commission and DG Sanco on the necessity to take a much stronger stance against meat imports that fail to meet EU standards, according to the IFA.
calendar icon 22 March 2007
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The IFA’s National Livestock Committee Chairman, Mr John Bryan said that the events both in South America and in the UK should set off alarm bells in Commissioner Kyprianou’s office. “The Commissioner must understand that taking unnecessary risk with meat imports is playing with fire and needlessly exposing both European consumers and producers,” he said.

On FMD, Mr Bryan said a new outbreak of the disease in Bolivia was a real threat for Brazil who had a huge uncontrolled land border with Bolivia, linked to states like Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sol. Combined with no tagging or traceability and a lot of cattle smuggling and illegal movements, the higher risks associated with beef imports from Brazil must be reexamined by the EU Commission, he stressed.

The IFA livestock leader said: “The time has come for the European Union to seriously reassess the flawed trade policy being pursued by EU Commissioner Peter Mandelson in WTO. He said the Mandelson policy was seriously flawed in terms of eroding European food security and damaging the global environment.”

Source: Roscommon Herald
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