Radical overhaul of EU policy needed

A radical overhaul of EU agriculture policy is needed if the EU is to secure its long-term food  supply, according to local TD Denis Naughten. The former opposition spokesperson on agriculture, speaking at the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore, pointed to threats such as the mid-term review of CAP ‘healthcheck’ with the EU Commission President talking of budget reform and cuts to agriculture supports, further pressure from Commissioner Peter Mandelson to secure a WTO deal and sell-out agriculture and food consumption growing rapidly with dairy consumption to grow by 58 percent in the next three years alone. ‘Increasing diversion of food crops and food production lands to biofuel production such as in the US alone where one-fifth of all corn production is going into ethanol production and the reduction in out-of-season production in Ireland of key commodities such as beef, lamb, milk etc. due to failure by processors to deliver seasonal premiums.’ Deputy Naughten warned: ‘These differing demands will lead to an overall reduction in food production within the EU and Ireland with devastating consequences unless action is taken in the near future  ‘In five or ten years’ time it will be too late, Irish farmers will have left the land. We need action now from our Government and from the EU,’ concluded Deputy Naughten.