Michael Healy Rae speaking in front of the farmers yesterday at their protest in Dublin where farmers gathered to protest at the hypocrisy of the Mercosur deal which comes at a time when environmental concerns are supposedly at the forefront of government policy.
Proposals to force farmers to plant trees are underway while at the same time a beef trade deal is being struck with a region which has cut down rainforests over a region the size of Portugal over the last ten years, it was said.
Suicide is statistically higher in farmers than any other people in the country according to the Irish Independent, and yet they are constantly demonised for destroying both the planet and the environment.
President of the Irish Farmers Association, Joe Healy, recently stated that beef from South America is produced at 4 times the emissions of Irish beef which adds to the perplexing nature of the Mercosur deal.
Many in the industry believe the deal is about Germany opening up markets to sell its cars to while throwing farmers under the bus as a sweetener.
In recent years Irish farmers have been snowed under with paperwork in order to be approved by Bord Bia (Ireland’s Food Quality Control System) to sell their produce.
Farmers protesting today argued at the protest that South American beef doesn’t remotely live up to the food safety standards that Irish farmers are held to, so that even from the point of animal welfare this deal makes no sense with things like foot and mouth disease being rampant over there.
It’s clear that the Mercosur deal is not only a threat to farmers but is also a threat to the global environment and animal welfare. A loss of food quality control can undoubtedly mean that it’s also a significant threat to the health of Irish people.
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