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Are we really going to trade the Amazon and our climate for cheap beef? – Stanley

4 July, 2019 - by Brian Stanley TD

Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has said that the Government has no option but to reject the EU-Mercosur deal, saying that it completely undermines the Government’s commitments to climate change action and it critically endangers Irish beef producers.

Speaking after he published Sinn Féin’s motion calling on the Government to reject Mercosur, the Laois TD said:

“The EU-Mercosur deal will be a disaster for the environment. It completely undermines our 2030 emission targets and it undermines the Government’s recently published Climate Action plan.

“The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is now at its highest rate in a decade. Last year alone, we saw a 13% increase in Amazon deforestation. It is no coincidence that this huge increase in deforestation comes at the same time as Brazil is seeing a huge increase in beef exports.

“The carbon-mile footprint to ship this beef across to Europe from South America simply makes no sense when the EU and Ireland are self-sufficient in good quality beef.

“South American beef has lower safety and consumer standards that our own indigenous beef and uses pesticides and chemicals which are not allowed here. There are also concerns about the traceability of this meat, given the stringent farm to fork chain in Ireland.

“Are we really going to trade the Amazon and our climate for cheap beef and steak burgers? How the government could think to spin this deal as a positive for Ireland boggles the mind. I can see no option but to reject this deal and protect both the environment and Irish beef producers.”

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