Editorial 34. Ideological restrictions that damage some people without benefits the majority.
The European production fabric, especially in Mediterranean countries, is subjected since decades to ideological restrictions that once converted into European law applied in the Mediterranean countries with an orthodoxy that goes beyond the general interest and looks like an intentional mass destruction in favor of foreign interests, are one of the causes of the current economic reality translated into business closures and rising unemployment. Small and medium enterprises, which provide the majority of employment, who see their activity slowed by all kinds of regulations. It is, at root, ideological constraints of distant interests of citizens, these are detrimental to productive sectors without benefit the majority. The economic reality is showing the need to reform these restrictions. Some hopeful reforms are becoming a normative modifications but there is still addressing important issues.
In regard to livestock and agricultural point out two examples of reforms initiated and two others that we think deserve to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Among the reforms initiated will show two relevant examples:
- Changes in food labeling regulations. The plenary of the Parliament has recently adopted by a large majority a report proposing to amend labeling laws so that consumers can distinguish more easily between the maximum authorized for the sale of products date and the deadline date it can be consumed. This rectification is produced 12 years after that the European Parliament in 2000 (Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000) in 1979 update legislation applying ideological restrictions. The new update for 2012 is based on reality, result of restrictive legislation without previous scientific basis, that every day tons of food are discarded in good condition when there are people who die of hunger in other places, and even some lawmakers described as “crime” in some fast food companies are to be eliminated by those restrictions, all food not consumed within 10 minutes of its production. The update also includes double date (sales and consumption) and the possibility of out-of date of sale, damaged or worse appearance products, can be sold at discounted prices or free to redistribute to food banks.
- Changes in the use of meat flour to feed. The current strict legislation originated 15 years ago, by a supposed principle of precaution which allowed the prohibition of meat flour in animal feed. This caused a significant loss of protein sources, the higher cost of feed for animal feed and the subsequent closure of many companies in the industry and farms. Now the EU is proposing to lift the ban which, in practice, would open the way to the standardized use of meat flour in the diet of fish, birds and pigs. Alongside the French National Food Council has positively considered this proposal and after a long ban, related to the crisis of EBS, the European Commission has drafted a document that supports their reintroduction arguing that now, the main threats are microbial antibiotic resistance and salmonella. It is also argued the need to reduce dependency, that the EU has, in other protein sources such as the soy flour. In this paper, we propose the use of bone and meat flour (other than those from spinal cord and intestines that are a few percent) in feed for pigs and poultry, and intends to re-baptize as (PAT) Processed Animal Proteins.
These relevant examples are only part of the necessary reform of European legislation that damaged some productive sectors and do not benefit, or rather, harm citizens. We will present two new issues that in our opinion should be initiated immediately:
1) Necessary amendments to the legislation on rules of phytosanitary products and biotech crops. By studying the import authorization of agricultural products in third countries obtained under different conditions to those required, for European farmers, it is concluded which is situated, to, at a disadvantage compared to farmers in third countries, for ideological reasons, making it necessary a legislative review of phytosanitary products with scientific criteria ensuring improved crop yields, food security and environmental balance.
The same applies when studying that the EU allows the importation and consumption of modified grains from Brazil, India, South Africa and China while there is reticence to approve biotechnologically modified crops in Europe. It is a disadvantage for European farmers who need 45 months to get permission to import seeds for cultivation and another 25 months of paperwork to get the approval for the cultivation.
The defenders of biotech crops constituted by producer companies and the majority of the scientific community argue that the modification of genes in plants is not new or dangerous, is more accurate and does not present higher risk than traditional hybridization. The detractors of biotech crops consisting of organically grown agricultural organizations, environmental organizations, NGOs and anti-globalization organizations claim that endangers the rural way of European life, biodiversity and the environment.
The main problem is to use seeds with genes from Bacillus thurigensis, producing crystal toxin that can affect the basic invertebrate fauna located in the base of the trophic chain. But the effect is not known that this same toxin produced by the direct use of Bt crops.
In the midst of this argument, deeply ideological, OMS argues that “the consumption of modified release products is supported by studies on the safety for the consumer and which products currently available on the international market have passed risk evaluations and not probably present a risk to human health” and FAO argues that “countries where transgenic crops have been introduced in the fields have reported no significant health or environmental damage. In addition, farmers use less pesticides and less toxic pesticides, thus reducing pollution of water supplies and damage the health of workers, and allowing the return to the fields of beneficial insects. “
Since delays of 70 months (almost 6 years) in obtaining permits, mean in practice
a restriction not supported by concrete scientific reasons why can’t be produced, normally, modified crops in Europe? It seems, therefore, be an ideological constraint that harms some without benefit the majority and it becomes necessary a legislative revision to ensuring scientific criteria improving agricultural yields, food security and environmental balance.
2. Medicine Agencies legislation relating to veterinary medicinal products. In addition to the European Medicines Agency, on whose reform Consequently we have treated from the Mediator case, there are national drug agencies using different regulations in each country leaving the “judgment of the skilled officer on duty” approval of a product or establishing special Conditions of trade operations, based on certain personal relationships (the Blog Transparency # 7, 9,10,11,15,17,18,22 and 26 of this publication indicates specific cases) and creates inequalities in front the law. It seems to be ideological restrictions or even worse, and it becomes necessary a legislative revision to ensuring scientific criteria improving farmers income, food security and environmental balance.
Starts growing among citizens, especially in the Mediterranean countries, a current of opinion that an important part of the current crisis; closures, rising unemployment and indebtedness; is caused by the damage caused to European productive fabric by restrictive laws implemented more than 10 years ago based on ideological reasons best of cases or for economic reasons, for some individuals, under the excuse of a certain protective consumer ideology but with clear purpose of personal enrichment.
We should reflect, to reform the laws of ideological inspiration, rendered in the absence of scientific criteria and also decide which part of the consequences of the crisis are attributable to ideological constraints and if its consequences (increased levels of poverty, malnutrition diseases increase, increase in suicides …) should lead to administrative, economic and criminal liabilities to their promoters.