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Don’t sacrifice EU environmental standards to get trade deal with US, warns Greenpeace policy director

April 9, 2014 - Food & Agriculture

In an exclusive interview with viEUws, Marco Contiero – Greenpeace’s EU agriculture policy director – talks to AGRA FACTS journalist Rose O’Donovan about the future challenges for EU agriculture and discusses the potential negative effects of an EU-US free trade deal at the Forum on the Future of Agriculture 2014.

Contiero claims that a failed definition of productivity is at the heart of the problem.  If we recognised productivity as more than just an increase in yields – taking into account the quantity of inputs as well as negative impacts on the environment – we would find ways to make European agriculture more environmentally-friendly and maintain extremely high productivity in the system, Contiero explains. The agriculture policy director also takes a critical look at the EU-US trade negotiations. Contiero argues the EU-US trade pact would only bring benefits to big producers rather than small farmers. Moreover, EU agriculture and food standards would be sacrificed for greater trade in GM products, Contiero adds. “High EU standards cannot be simply taken away or shifted without involving civil society“,  the Greenpeace policy director concludes.

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