New market opportunities for European farmers must be secured

Liam Aylward MEP received assurances today from the European Commission that they were making significant progress on lifting the ban on exporting European beef and veal to the USA and Canada, but he stressed that it is important that the pressure is kept on in the interests of European beef and veal producers.
Speaking today in the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural he stated that:

“With the shadow of the Mercosur Trade Agreement looming it is essential that the European Commission explores all avenues for supporting European agriculture and enhancing its access to markets and leaves no stone unturned in securing markets for European agricultural produce.”

The USA and Canada imposed a ban on the importation of Irish and EU beef following the outbreak of BSE in 2000.   However, given the fact that 22 EU Member States, including Ireland, now have the same controlled BSE risk status under the OIE (World Animal Health Organisation) as the US and Canada, this ban is groundless and unjust.

“The US/Canadian ban is completely unjustified given the equivalence of BSE risk status between the EU and the USA and Canada under the World Animal Health Organisation regulations.   EU beef and veal is produced to the highest standards and quality in the world and should not be denied access to a market due to groundless heath claims.”

The Ireland East MEP has called on the European Commission in bring this issue to the table in their current negotiations with America on a “Memorandum of Understanding” on the importation of beef from the USA.

“While this issue is not directly related to these negotiations, it would be remiss of the European Commission not to act in the interests of European farmers. The EU Commission cannot conclude deals of this nature, granting the USA increased access to the EU market,  while ignoring the continued failure of the US and Canada to allow beef and veal imports from the EU.”
“The EU must not continue to give concessions without securing the interests of European beef farmers in the USA market first.”