Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2009-02-05-Speech-4-015"

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"Mr President, the compromise achieved concerning feedstuffs does have certain advantages – it harmonises and simplifies EU legislation – but it also has fundamental flaws: it does not offer sufficient guarantee of the safety of animal feeds and of foods, it affords weak protection of the interests of the five million farmers who breed and raise animals, and it does not sufficiently protect our health. The access of animal feed users to information about the contents of the feed will still be limited by the protection of intellectual property rights. If the producer of a feedstuff uses a dangerous ingredient, we will still be vulnerable. The problem of feedstuffs is further proof of the mistaken direction being taken by agricultural policy which, in spite of declarations, supports industrial agriculture first and foremost and, in such agriculture, farmers do not have to have their own feedstuffs and can raise animals using feedstuffs produced by specialised businesses. These businesses are, of course, profit-driven and will always find a way to reduce costs, but will not necessarily take into account the safety of animals or our health. As a consequence, we have to multiply specific provisions and increase monitoring, which takes the matter to an absurd level. Is it not time to reverse these tendencies and to return to the sustainable development of agriculture, in which farmers will have their own feedstuffs and will not be exposed to the losses caused by dioxins or BSE? Progress in agriculture does not have to mean the concentration of production or the concentration of feedstuff production. We should bear in mind that in the EU, we currently have 15 million farms, and as many as 95% of these are small and medium-sized farms. Most of these farms can use the sustainable model of agriculture for the good of farmers, the environment and of us all. We only need to radically change our approach to agriculture, and in doing so to change our approach to current common agricultural policy."@en1

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