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"Irish coalition puts pig industry jobs at risk"

The Irish opposition said that the current coalition between the political parties Fianna Fáil and the Green Party would contribute to rising food prices and to job losses, especially in the pig and poultry industry.

Michael Creed,  Irish member of parliament and agriculture and food spokesperson for the opposition party Fine Gael, said, "Fianna Fáil's lack of commitment to a viable, vibrant agricultural industry coupled with the Green Party's political manoeuvring is a dangerous combination for farmers."


GM feed
In particular, decisions regarding imports of genetically modified (GM) feed have the potential to severely damage the agricultural sector.


"The Minister for Food Trevor Sargent , appears to be trying to ride two horses on this issue," Creed said.


"The inevitable consequence of the Greens posturing on GM feed combined with FF's indifference will be job losses in the pig and poultry sector immediately and higher food prices for consumers sooner rather than later."


Price increases
Creed continued, "As the price of compound feeds increases due to Government inaction, the pig industry is immediately in the firing line. 7,000 jobs are at risk and if bacon products have to be imported prices will rise."


"Government pussy-footing on this issue is making it harder for farmers to plan and indeed some pig producers are not servicing their breeding stock because of the uncertainty."


Committee
Creed called for a committee to facilitate a debate on GM food, feed and crops and their use.


"It is high time for a full debate on the whole GM issue instead of Government policy being determined by awkward attempts at consensus between FF and the Greens. Farmers need clear direction."


The Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern is a member of Fianna Fáil. FF and the Green Party have been in a coalition, together with the Progressive Democrats since the last general elections in May this year.


Related websites:
• Fiánna Fail
• Green Party
• Fine Gael 


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