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Carthy calls on European Committee to robustly defend Agricultural Interests in Trade Talks

22 January, 2015 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking yesterday(Wednesday) at the European Parliament Agricultural & Rural Development Committee meeting in Brussels, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Constituency Matt Carthy has called on fellow members of the Committee to ensure that the interests of agriculture are defended as the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership(TTIP) talks continue.

Carthy said:

“There are growing concerns that the mandate for the TTIP negotiations, only published following a leak, will not provide the level of protection necessary to ensure that the high standards in agriculture are maintained.

“In particular, there are fears that US food producers who, in general, place greater emphasis on lower production costs will prove a threat to EU farmers where the farm to fork policy ensures that the quality of the end product is the paramount consideration.

“A good example of this is the Irish Beef Sector, which is world renowned for the quality of its produce, with grass fed cows as the standard, however this is considered a niche product in the US.

“There is also a growing concern that TTIP will lead to a race to the bottom in terms of standards of food production with smaller farmers unable to compete to the detriment of rural communities and consumers alike.

“The EU is currently the largest exporter and importer of food and feed products and therefore, it is vital that the interests of EU Agriculture are robustly defended as the TTIP talks progress.

“I am calling on my fellow MEPs on the Agricultural Committee to remain vigilant as the negotiations continue and to ensure that any threats to the interests of EU Agriculture are appropriately addressed.”

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