Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Safe European Home

I love stories like this:
Call for Europe-wide Ban on Brazilian Beef

Members of the European Parliament have called for a Europe-wide
ban on Brazilian beef imports amid growing concern about foot-and-mouth
disease.


Evidence was presented to the Parliament after a joint
investigation of the Brazilian beef market by the Irish Farmers' Association and
the Irish Farmers' Journal.


It found failure to tag or trace animals, failure to administer
vaccines, and failure to prevent livestock being taken across regional and
national borders.


MEPs, including Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness, tabled a written declaration in
Strasbourg demanding an immediate ban on all beef and beef products from
Brazil.


I mean look at this story... 'Members of the European Parliament'. How many? Which ones? From which European countries? 'Including Mairead McGuinness'... so the only named MEP would be the Mairead McGuinness - a former journalist for... the Irish Farmers' Journal! And ('duh' moment here), which vested interest has most to lose from Brazilian beef imports?... European (and Irish) beef farmers perhaps?

The claims may well be true, and serious. I don't know (or particularly care as long as my steak tastes good). But whatever investigation has been carried out should be thoroughly assessed by someone coming from a slightly less biased angle, surely, before demanding bans on imports that would have the EU hauled up before the WTO in jig time.

And shouldn't such stories also be assessed for bias and wilful exaggeration by the media organisation doing the reporting (RTE) before they scare the crap out of all of us? What's that? Mairead McGuinness presented a farming programme on RTE too, you say?...
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