Irish farmers continue Brazil protest

Irish farmers are continuing to protest against the EU, accusing it of turning a blind eye to problems with Brazilian production.

Speaking to beef farmers protesting at the EU Commission office in Dublin yesterday, Irish Farmers Association president, Padraig Walshe, accused the EU of operating a regime of double standards on beef traceability.

He claimed there was overwhelming evidence that the EU Food and Veterinary Office was turning a blind eye to the "glaring deficiencies and lack of controls on beef production in Brazil" and accused the EU of ignoring the subsequent risks Brazil posed.

Walshe said he was appalled by what he claimed was the admission and acceptance by the EU Food and Veterinary Office in the European Parliament last week that they were presiding over and condoning such double standards.

He also accused Irish minister, Mary Coughlan, of aiding and abetting the European Commission bureaucrats in the cover-up of double standards on beef imports from Brazil.

Walshe told farmers: "At the Tullamore Show last year, the minister said she had concerns with the equivalency of Brazilian standards with EU standards and she had raised this matter with the EU Commission.

"She said EU producers were subject to very tight regulation and the highest standards. She said it was totally unrealistic to expect European producers to continue to labour under this heavy cost regime when imported product was not subject to an equivalent level of regulation. Every farmer in the country could identify with that statement from minister Coughlan. That was in August last year.

"Incredible as it appears, the same minister Coughlan,on the day that the IFA had secured the support of the European Parliament for a ban on Brazilian beef, was quoted as saying she accepted the Commission's criticism of the IFA report on the recent mission to Brazil.

"On RTE radio, she said Brazilian beef was safe because she had been told so in Brussels."

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