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Mercosur deal could bring banned substances to EU dinner tables

11/07/2018

Mercosur deal could bring banned substances to EU dinner tables

Photo courtesy of Avaaz on Flickr

The EU’s ongoing negotiations for a free trade deal with Mercosur must be stopped at once or banned substances used in food products might end up on our dinner tables in the EU.

Along with the other three nations that make up Mercosur - Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay - Brazil has food standards and regulations which are completely incompatible with EU laws. From glyphosate to countless pesticides in its coffee plantations, Brazil is one of the world’s worst offenders in using harmful chemicals in food production.

Given the lack of verification facilities available in ports such as Rotterdam, serious concerns remain as to how the European Commission plans to stop poisonous MERCOSUR products from reaching EU consumers.

The Brussels negotiations are also taking place just as Brazil’s former president Lula remains in prison - a move widely seen as undemocratic and an obstruction to Lula’s run for the upcoming presidency.

German MEP Helmut Scholz (DIE LINKE., Germany), who has been critical of the EU-Mercosur trade deal from the start, has issued this stark warning:

"Don’t conclude this EU–Mercosur deal: the Brazilian offer is poisonous! The country is already the world's worst user of glyphosate and other pesticides, many of which are banned in Europe. Now, and in parallel to the trade negotiations in Brussels, Brazil is lifting all remaining barriers to pesticide usage in preparation for an expansion of agro-industrial production. This will dramatically speed up deforestation and bring about environmental disasters and climate change. Our dinners will soon be sprayed with poison."

Scholz also pointed out the environmental and human impact of the trade deal:

"Agro-industrial barons are very influential in the current Brazilian government. They just managed to get rid of the last legal barriers to pesticide usage. They’ve also cut down rainforests for beef, soy and ethanol productions, and are using workers who are treated like slaves.”

“These are the realities behind the current EU-Mercosur talks in Brussels. They make a complete mockery of talking about trade & sustainable development in the same sentence," he concluded.

You can watch tne GUE/NGL initiative 'EU-Mercosur FT: Alternatives to Free trade Agreements' via this link

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