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In Tallinn EU ministers of agriculture must look further than their egg cups
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IFOAM EOC last year debating about the future of organic agriculture (photo © Karin Heinze)
Estonia holds the EU Council Presidency until the end of this year. At their meeting in Tallinn from 3-5 September the topics to be discussed by the EU ministers of agriculture will include the fipronil scandal.
The insecticide fipronil has been found in recent weeks in millions of eggs in Europe. It is still not clear precisely how long disinfectants with added fipronil – despite being banned - were being used in poultry houses. Strong criticism from the German Bundesverband Naturkost Naturwaren e.V. (BNN):”The industrial production of food has for years been causing one food scandal after another. Price wars often compromise food safety and animal welfare.” BNN and its member companies – around 200 manufacturers of organic food and natural goods, wholefood wholesalers, organic shops and organic supermarkets – are committed to promoting small-farmer and organic agriculture and rely on supply relationships that are clearly structured and can be trusted.
Politics must support transparent food production and promote small and medium-size businesses
BNN Managing Director Elke Röder is calling on the EU ministers of agriculture to look further than their egg cups: “This involves supporting transparent food production with short supply chains and promoting small and medium-size businesses that operate in an environmentally friendly and animal friendly way.” Her demand goes further: “It is time to redistribute the billions the EU spends on agriculture that have been going mainly to large-scale agricultural businesses and have supported export-oriented mass production.” This is why the EU ministers of agriculture in Tallinn should not talk only about improved risk management but also about a common agricultural policy that reduces the risk of scandals occurring. In the specialist wholefood trade customers can be assured. In the words of BNN “After intensive searching it is certain that eggs with residues of fipronil have so far not found their way into specialist organic stores and organic supermarkets in Germany.”
The IFOAM EU Congress (EOC) following the meeting of the EU ministers of agriculture will also deal with the European agricultural policy and will focus on reaching the objective of “Making Europe More Organic”.
We will be reporting the outcome of the events in Tallinn.