Pre-Budget Outlook: Motion (Resumed).
Question put: “That the words proposed to be deleted stand part of the main Question.”
Agrifood Industry: Motion (Resumed).
It was not voted on.
Did the Minister of State mention labels? If so it is the first time in her speech she did so.
Perhaps the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, will give us a course on the regulations now.
It is the Department’s job to monitor the regulations.
I will give the Minister her answer.
I am not threatening the Minister. I will give her her answer shortly.
I am not threatening the Minister.
I thank colleagues on this side of the House who spoke in support of the motion. I particularly welcome the support we received from the Labour Party. I thank the Members on the opposite side who we...
The Committee on Procedure and Privileges may wish to examine this matter because the Government’s amendment refers to the agrifood package under the national development plan, single farm payments an...
——Enterprise Ireland, suckler cow schemes and the Saudi Arabian market.
On page 10 of a 15 page script the Minister commenced to address the issues of marketing, labelling and consumer interests. Members on this side of the House are patient.
The Minister’s Department received a report relating to substantial transformation and the abuse of consumer rights from the food labelling group in 2002. For five years she sat back and did nothing ...
That is the issue at stake.
What we, food producers and consumers, want to know is whether the Minister is on our side.
When the IFA representatives went to Brussels, the Minister was outside the door spinning against Irish farmers’ interests.
I remind the Minister of what she said at the time.
The Minister stated there were problems with traceability and tagging but that Brazilian beef was a threat to trade, not a threat to health.
When commencing this debate, I asked a question which the Minister conveniently avoided.
Why is it that when a single outbreak of foot and mouth disease occurred in the United Kingdom, that country’s market was closed down within six hours and it was prevented from exporting beef here?
If one has a problem with traceability and tagging and one goes to a factory with an animal, that animal will end up in a skip and not be processed into the human food chain. Why is it that the Minis...
——while standing over a system which gives those who produce that beef——
——unfettered access to the market here?
The Minister is desperately trying to get onside, a fact we welcome, but she made a major faux pas and has a great deal of bridge-building to do with Irish farmers and beef producers.
The Minister is offside.
Will the Ceann Comhairle give me some protection from the Minister?
In the interests of consumers and with the willingness of the agriculture sector, we have invested a great deal of money in producing a quality product.
However, the Minister stood outside the door and spun against the interests of beef producers.
The Minister was outside the door spinning against the interests of farmers.
That is a fact and she cannot deny it. She was quoted in the Irish Farmers Journal to that effect and she did not deny it.
The Minister said there was a problem with traceability.
I wish to move on from that issue.
I will not be shouted down or bullied by the Minister. I will have my say.
I wish the Minister had used her contribution to address the issues to which the motion refers.
I welcome the thoughtful contribution of the Minister of State, Deputy Sargent. However, I would not entirely agree with what he said. There is a commitment in the programme for Government in respect...
I fail to understand how it is possible to have a GM-free island if the Minister facilitates the importation of GM feeds. I support the latter because they have been a part of the agriculture sector ...
Non-GM soya products will not be available in two years’ time. Strains of GM soya are being sown in the United States which will be the sole source of protein for the Irish feed industry. This matte...
There is a fear that this is the agenda.
The Minister had the opportunity to address the motion but did not do so. She cannot have her say at this point. When she spoke, she did not mention consumers.
I wish to make a final point on which I will conclude. The GM issue is extremely serious for the feed industry, poultry, pig, beef and dairy producers and the entire food sector.
Certainty is required but it has not been forthcoming.
We are absolutely in favour of choice. We favour organic products. We also favour commercial agriculture.
I commend the motion to the House. It should find favour with anyone who has the interests of consumers and the agriculture industry at heart.