|Series Title||European Voice|
|Series Details||Vol.7, No.46, 13.12.01, p3|
BOTH the European Commission's farm directorate and the Common Agricultural Policy should be eliminated, according to a new study which claims that the Union's reliance on the CAP has made EU food probably the most expensive in the world.
The call by the London-based Consumers' Association follows research suggesting that a basket of 15 food items, including rice, olive oil and lamb chops, costs €137 in a British supermarket.
The same products would set back a shopper only €63.74 in New Zealand, "a country with no subsidies or tariffs for agriculture production", its study says, adding that "the price differentials are partly due to the inflated prices set by the Common Agricultural Policy".
Based on these findings and other reports showing that the cost of aiding farmers is passed on to ordinary food buyers, the group advocates that the CAP should be phased out and replaced with new strategies for food safety, the environment and rural protection.
The Commission's directorate-general for agriculture should also be scrapped and responsibility for its activities transferred to officials working in its environment, health, trade and consumer protection DGs.
The group's chief Sheila McKechnie criticised British premier Tony Blair for advocating CAP reform but not its complete abolition.
She said: "This indefensible position is harming UK consumers, a large section of the agriculture industry and many developing countries."
The Consumers' Association claims that the intensive farming promoted by CAP has led to a 40 decline in birds such as the skylark - once a common sight on British farms - since 1970.
Both the European Commission's farm directorate and the Common Agricultural Policy should be eliminated, according to a new study which claims that the Union's reliance on the CAP has made EU food probably the most expensive in the world.
|Subject Categories||Business and Industry|