FG summons EU Commission to Dáil over Brazilian beef irregularities – Naughten

Okay my parents were giving out stink over this the other day and then i get this press release from FG!

Speaking after a visit to the Mohill Agricultural Show in Co Leitrim, Fine Gael Agriculture Spokesman Denis Naughten TD has accused the Government and EU of putting the public health’s at risk with their lax attitude to Brazilian beef imports.

“The Irish Government and the EU Commission allow Brazilian beef to be imported, even though there have been numerous damming reports on the Brazilian meat industry highlighting risks to human and animal health. The Minister for Agriculture claims this is a matter for the EU Commission. Fine Gael has therefore asked EU officials and the EU Commissioner for Public Health to attend a meeting of the Dáil Agriculture & Food Committee next month.

“Every year Ireland consumes €17 million worth of beef, or 5,766 tonnes, the majority of which comes from Brazil. Irish people are being conned into consuming Brazilian beef which they believe is produced locally. We now know that the quality of Brazilian beef is far inferior to that of Irish beef, and recent inspections of slaughterhouses in that country uncovered a litany of breaches of health and safety regulations, putting us directly at risk.

“Over the last number of years the EU Food & Veterinary Office (FVO) has monitored the Brazilian Beef Industry on behalf of the EU Commission. The most recent FVO report expressed concerns that veterinary products, including hormones like clenbuterol (angel dust), are freely available on the market. As a result, widespread use without veterinary prescription cannot be ruled out. Furthermore, the traceability of exported products required by EU law cannot be guaranteed.

“There is one much-regulated system for Irish farmers producing beef for EU consumers, but a very lax regime for Brazilian farmers producing beef for the same market. More and more Brazilian beef is entering the food chain. We should not accept meat imports from third countries which have been found to be sub-standard. Any similar doubts over Irish meat would spark a national emergency and this meat would not be permitted to remain on our supermarket shelves.

“Consumers are being sold a falsehood and Irish farmers are competing against an inferior product, bought and sold at a much lower price, trading itself as being a higher quality Irish born and bred product. If a health or food scare were to develop in relation to these imports, it would be utterly unacceptable for Irish farmers and the wider agri-food sector to suffer a crippling threat to their industry. That is why Fine Gael recognises that resolving this issue is closely tied to the issue of a secure food labelling system.”