The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) has stressed that agriculture, in particular livestock, needs to be a priority in the ongoing trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States.
John Bryan, IFA president, has warned that European producers and consumers will not accept food imports from production operations where the use of beta-agonist drug ractopamine in cattle and pigs is common practice, while in the EU it is banned.
“Europe cannot agree to any imports that fail to meet EU standards on the critical issues of food safety, traceability, environmental protection and animal welfare.”
A second round of trade talks began this week in Brussels. The talks were originally scheduled for October but due to the US Government shut-down were postponed. It successful they could create the world’s largest free-trade deal. The US and EU account for US$30 trillion of annual output, which equates to almost half the world’s total