Farming

Thursday 21 August 2014

Ciolos 'no' on hormone beef

Darragh McCullough

Published 25/03/2014 | 02:30

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EU Agriculture Commissioner, Dacian Ciolos, has ruled out any relaxation of restrictions on hormone-treated beef and genetically modified foods as part of EU/US trade talks.

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Commissioner Ciolos said fears that Europe's trade negotiators were considering making concessions to their US counterparts on the issue were unfounded. "We have no intention of negotiating on GMOs or hormone beef," Commissioner Dacian Ciolos told journalists at a briefing in Romania last week.

Instead, the commissioner wants to see EU negotiators resolutely defend its €55bn farm subsidy regime and push for increased market access for Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) products such as cheeses, hams and breads that are closely linked with particular European regions.

"The single payment system that we have developed in Europe must also be allowed stand," said Commissioner Ciolos. He was critical of the way that US negotiators were conducting themselves since the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks began.

"What the US officials had privately indicated would be on offer before the start of the talks did not materialise when the public offerings emerged," the commissioner claimed.

Commissioner Ciolos also reflected on the CAP reform that he instigated nearly three years ago. He said: "Farmers were initially totally against decoupling in the last reforms. But they clearly moved and I believe that they will come to view greening in the same way."

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