EU – IFA President Joe Healy said any EU deal on beef with Brazil in the Mercosur negotiations is “toxic”.
He called on the EU Trade Commissioner Celia Maelstrom to come clean and reject the environmental destruction, failures on food safety and animal welfare, and slave labour associated with Brazilian beef.
Mr Healy was speaking following meetings with senior EU Commission officials in Brussels this week, including with the Chief EU negotiator on the deal, Sandra Gallina, DG Trade, as Mercosur and EU negotiators meet for the next number of days in Brussels.
The IFA President said Irish and European beef farmers are very angry at the way they are being sacrificed in Mercosur and there is bad blood over the excessive offer of an additional 70,000t TRQ offered by the EU.
Mr Healy said Irish and European farmers are required to meet the highest food safety and environmental standards in the world.
He said, “It is a total contradiction of European policy that Commissioner Maelstrom is now willing to cut a deal for more beef imports from Brazil and sacrifice sustainable production in Europe.”
He said Irish beef production is four times more carbon efficient than Brazil where growth is driven on the back of destruction of the rainforests.
In addition, the Mr Healy said the Weak Flesh corruption scandal in Brazil in March 2017 proved once again the failure of Brazil to meet European standards.
He said the EU Commission FVO report in May 2017 clearly stated that “the Brazilian Competent Authority is not in a position to guarantee that the relevant export requirements are met.”