Brussels has 'sold us a pup' on quality standards and imports
Published 21/09/2016 | 02:30
Europe has sold us a pup on agriculture and the tillage farmer is first in line to take the pain. Brussels' cheap food policy and a plethora of quality assurance schemes has convinced consumers that any food that comes in a nicely packaged labelled container.
We now have the ludicrous situation where a motorist will not buy diesel from an unknown supplier but will purchase a sandwich which contains bread, meats and vegetables of unknown origin.
What EU official asks if the contents are fully traceable and did the animal that produced the beef have a tag?
Some of our more discerning consumers have opted to become vegetarians or vegans for whom there is a whole range of pre-prepared meals and meat substitutes that contain a list of ingredients as long as your arm without any country of origin or quality standard specified.
Standard of Imports
We largely rely on confirmation by the country of origin that foodstuffs meet their standards; not ours. Imports are therefore contributing to cheap food but are they being produced to European standards?
Europe is highly reliant on the importation of feedstuffs, particularly for vegetable proteins. Most of the imported feedstuffs (maize, cotton, soybean, oilseed rape, sugar beet) are from varieties produced by biotechnology techniques to give resistance to pests, tolerance to herbicides, drought resistance, alteration of reproductive tissue and improvement of quality or nutritional value.
Currently, there is only one maize variety that has been genetically modified (GMO) and authorised for cultivation in Europe (Spain), but there are 60 GMOs authorised for importation. Yet our grain has to compete with the GMOs for inclusion in animal feedstuffs.