Irish farmers accuse EU of naivety

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Irish farmers accuse EU of naivety
The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) has accused EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström of being naive to believe that the Brazilians are going to conform to the rules in any Mercosur trade agreement with the EU, especially with regard to meeting EU standards on beef or other meat imports.

IFA president Joe Healy said the record spoke for itself and EU audits showed that, for the past 18 years, the Brazilians had consistently failed to meet EU standards on the critical issues of traceability, food safety, animal and plant health, environmental and labour standards.

“The Brazilians have thrown away the rule book, the latest example being the major meat scandal and fraud ‘Weak Flesh’ from this time last year, which is still running at the very highest administration and political levels in Brazil.”

He said that, in the last two weeks, more scandals had emerged in Brazil, involving more meat plants being delisted, new arrests, bribes, investigations into certified laboratories and officials - all revealing that there was a lot more to run on this saga in Brazil.

In addition, Healy said it was clear Commissioner Malmström was ​out of her depth in these negotiations and the Brazilians are pulling the wool over her eyes on the critical issue of standards​.

Healy urged Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan to not allow Commissioner Malmström to make any additional offers to the Brazilians in the Mercosur trade negotiations. “Commissioner Malmström has already gone way too far in her reckless sell-out of European beef farmers for the benefit of Brazilian big business and the European auto sector.

“The only thing we have seen from Commissioner Malmström in these negotiations is giveaway after giveaway of the European meat sector, with little or nothing in return. The Commissioner has already capitulated to the Brazilians in these negotiations, moving from an offer 45,000t to 70,000t and now the Brazilians are looking for way more.”

Related topics: EU, Ireland, Brazil, Livestock

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