Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/1999-07-22-Speech-4-016"

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"(FR) Mr President, Mr President-in-Office of the Council, Mr Commissioner, ladies and gentlemen, the dioxin crisis, BSE and the pressure put on us by the Americans to ensure that we accept hormone-treated meat are just a few examples of the very serious threats overhanging the safety of our citizens" food today. If these threats are not dealt with forcefully and adequately, irrationality will prevail at the expense of our farmers. The President-elect of the Commission recognised yesterday the huge importance of this matter, but he has remained completely silent about how he proposes to deal with it. Instead of these ideological tirades from days gone by, calling for a return of the old supranational connivance between Parliament and the Commission against the Council, we would have preferred to hear from Mr Prodi, how exactly he intends, within his jurisdiction, to repair the damage done by previous Commissions at the Uruguay Round. By accepting rules which act against our interests and measures such as the one covering sufficient scientific proof, which prevents us in practice from applying the precautionary principle, previous Commissions did a great deal of damage to our companies and to our economies. They offered up our exports as hostages to those countries who want to impose their methods of production on us with all the effects that these may entail, on health, the environment and society. In years to come, our citizens" food safety will depend almost entirely on the way in which the new Commission is able, at the forthcoming Millennium round of negotiations, to defend the complete acceptability of a model for a separate European zone of high agricultural quality. Member States must give or renew a clear and firm mandate to the Commission in order to make it the stimulus for a new, enlightened renegotiation of the GATT regulations which today are an obstacle to setting in action the precautionary principle in the areas of health and food safety. The Commission must also put a stop to the CAP"s very serious drift towards collapse as a Community-wide policy, as European prices are higher than those anywhere else in the world. Those who are pushing for complete integration to the world market in order to satisfy American demands should be aware of the heavy responsibility that they bear. They are leaving many of our farmers no other option but to launch themselves ill-advisedly and prematurely into introducing new and untried methods of crop cultivation and animal-rearing, which have not been properly tested and which, therefore, may put public health at risk. Ensuring the safety of our citizens" food is one of our prime duties. So, ladies and gentlemen, let us not allow European farming to go mad."@en1

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