THE EU Commission’s trade deal with the big South American countries (Mercosur) makes a mockery of their position on climate change, according to a West of Ireland TD and former Minister.
Roscommon-Galway Independent TD, Denis Naughten, said that 70% of the deforestation of the Amazon – ‘the lungs of our planet’ – was being done to provide land for cattle ranchers.
“Some 11% of the greenhouse gas emissions involved in food production are directly linked to food transportation. Surely, it makes far more sense to bring beef from Dublin to Brussels, a distance of 961 km, than 11,000 km from Buenos Aires to Brussels?
“The EU and its Member States cannot accept a situation where trade agreements lead to an overall increase in global emissions, by shutting down production in Europe and pushing up emissions in other parts of the world,” said Deputy Naughten.
IFA President, Joe Healy, said that the Mercosur agreement represented a ‘backroom deal with big business’ and was linked to companies like Mercedes and BMW wanting to get their cars into the South American market.
“Irish and European farmers adhere to the highest standards on traceability, animal welfare, food safety and the environment – farmers in Brazil do not,” said Joe Healy.
He said the deal was a disgraceful and feeble sell-out out of a large part of our most valuable beef market to Latin American ranchers and factory farm units.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
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