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Sinn Fein Raises Lifting of Beef Ban in Dáil

28 February, 2008

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD will raise in the Dáil this morning the lifting of the ban on Brazilian beef imports. The Kerry North TD was responding to yesterday's announcement by the EU Health Commissioner that beef would be accepted from a list of over 100 Brazilian farms which the Brazilian authorities claim are in compliance with EU standards of health and safety.

Deputy Ferris said: "It is only a short time since the ban was imposed in response to overwhelming evidence that Brazilian beef producers were not meeting the standards expected of EU farmers. It defies belief therefore that those standards have been attained in a matter of weeks. It is also the case that we only have the word of the Brazilian authorities as there is no independent verification of the improvements claimed.

"Minister Coughlan did a u-turn on her stance regarding the ban following intensive pressure from Irish producers. It is now incumbent on her to make her voice heard at the Commission in support of Irish producers and consumers and call for the ban to be re-imposed. If it is not it will represent further proof that the Irish farming sector has little or no protection from dictates emanating from Brussels and over which individual member states appear to have no control. And which seem designed to bolster Commissioner Mandleson's betrayal of farming interests at the WTO" Críoch

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