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EU-Canada trade pact sparks food safety concerns

Campaigners fear there could be a drop in food standards, as CETA deal comes into force

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EU-Canada trade pact sparks food safety concerns

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As the EU and Canada start cutting import duties on thousands of products and services, campaigners are ringing an alarm bell over food safety, including meat.

Greenpeace says the CETA trade agreement, now provisionally in force, could weaken standards relating to growth hormones and animal cloning.

“Canada also has no traceability or labeling that will allow Europe to check what’s coming in,” Saskia Richartz, from Greenpeace, told Euronews.

“Europe can only do random checks and even today we see that consignments are contaminated sometimes with GMOs for example and have to be sent back. This trade will now increase and CETA provides the toolbox to further deregulate. So, it attacks the rules that the EU currently has.”

Under CETA, Canada can export more pork and beef in quotas that expand over the next six years.

The European meat industry says EU standards will have to be met.

“Either the exporting country has legislation comparable to that of the EU, including a complete ban on the use of hormones, or it does not have the same legislation. But it must put in place the framework for breeding so that it meets EU requirements,” said Jean-Luc Mériaux, from the European Livestock and Meat Trades Union (UECBV).

CETA is the culmination of eight years of negotiations. It is the EU’s first trade pact with a G7 country and will abolish some 98 percent of customs duties.