BREAKING NEWS

BREAKING NEWS

EU must improve food alerts: farmers union

Now Reading:

EU must improve food alerts: farmers union

Text size Aa Aa

Nial O’Reilly euronews:
“As we have seen, the E.coli crisis has had a big impact on European agriculture. To discuss the issues concerned, we are joined by Pekka Pesonen a European farmers leader.

Mr Pessonen, so far several people have died, many more have fallen ill and European Union farming is once again under the spotlight, who is to blame for all this?”

Pekka Pesonen:
“At the moment we unfortunately do not know who is to blame or where this epidemic originates. We are really looking forward to the results of the work by German authorities and of course the European Commission in this respect.”

Nial O’Reilly euronews:
“There seems to be a lack of coordination between the national European authorities concerned. Does that not worry you?”

Pekka Pesonen:
“Of course it worries me, that’s why we have to make sure that the system that has been put in place to make certain that these events or these developments do not happen is improved.”

Nial O’Reilly euronews:
“The authorities concerned do seem to be caught between trying to raise the alarm, as they should, and not damaging the food sector. Are they getting that balance right?”

Pekka Pesonen:
“I don’t think so, it is a challenge at the moment, we seem to have a problem every time we say something about food, the reaction of the public, consumers, citizens is out of proportion when it comes to the actual risks that they are facing.”

Nial O’Reilly euronews:
“So what is your message to consumers then?”

Pekka Pesonen:
“Well we have to be reasonable when we take a look into the risks that in this case have materialised in Germany. Most of the European countries are not affected and therefore, already in the very beginning of this process, we knew that only those citizens or consumers that actually consumed foodstuffs in Germany were affected and those should have been taken into account when deciding whether we consume food or vegetables in other parts of the EU.”

Nial O’Reilly euronews:
“Consumers take their lead from their leaders and in Germany the message was that Spanish cucumbers were bad to eat. That turned out not to be the case and it had a huge impact on the Spanish food industry, so what are consumers to do if their leaders are giving the wrong signals?”

Pekka Pesonen:
“This is a particular responsibility of the leaders, political leaders of each of the member states, they have to think ahead about what the consequences of their statements will be, especially on the European economic market. “

Nial O’Reilly euronews:
“Should Spanish farmers be compensated?”

Pekka Pesonen:
“Well we certainly believe that they should be given compensation, or recovery of the damages that have been caused to their businesses and their livelihoods. This is a serious case for thousands and thousands of farmers across the EU, not only in Spain.”