Suspend Brazilian beef and poultry imports and cease EU/Mercosur trade talks - Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called for a suspension of all beef and poultry imports from Brazil and the immediate cessation of trade talks between the EU and Mercosur countries following recent shocking revelations.
Matt Carthy said:
“The European Commission must cease using the agricultural sector as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations.
“Revelations this weekend that Brazil, the world’s biggest exporter of red meat, has been selling rotten beef and poultry for years will come as a slap in the face to the many EU farmers who work hard every day to meet high food health and safety standards for consumers.
"The fact that Brazil is part of the Mercosur trading block with whom the European Commission is currently engaged in a trading offensive will make this news even harder to stomach.
“Issues like this arose in recent debates of the EU-Canada (CETA) agreement, and will continue to rise so long as agriculture continues to be a bargaining chip in free trade negotiations.
“Other trading blocks around the world have been quick to respond to this scandal, while Commissioner Hogan has far failed to act because he is more concerned for the European Commission’s broader trade offensive. This is entirely unacceptable.
“Comprehensive animal health controls, traceability rules, environmental standards and food safety protections are core principles of European agricultural production and serve the high standards European consumers have come to expect.
"However, what is the point in all of this legislation for farmers and consumers if the European Commission is willing to compromise it all when it comes to third country products?
“I have consistently raised the issue of the lowering of standards and cheap imports and the threat this poses for Irish farmers and consumers, and I will continue to do so.
“I am now calling on Commissioner Hogan to immediately suspend beef and poultry imports from Brazil and remove Agriculture chapters definitively from EU-Mercosur trade negotiations.