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Perdue says EU’s Farm to Fork strategy leaves farmers behind

U.S. Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says the European Union’s Farm to Fork strategy will prohibit trade and has taken away necessary tools for farmers to compete in a global economy.

“With this strategy, it appears Europe has forgotten the farm in ‘farm to fork.’”

Perdue recently spoke in a “Europe Debates” Series hosted by a conservative political party and argued sustainability in America focuses on the environment as well as economic and social aspects.

“Our soil is better, our air is better, and our water quality is even better than it was 50 years ago.”

He says the policy would make European farmers anticompetitive and require protectionism which ultimately would damage global trade.

“If we start protectionism in agriculture, saying our products are better than yours, and yours can’t come in because they don’t meet our standards, then we’re in serious issues that have an opportunity to metastasize to other sectors and do real damage to the global trade environment.”

The European Green Deal creates a plan for it to be the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 and the Farm to Fork Strategy within it moves from a focus on food production and agriculture to a total food systems approach, stretching from antimicrobial resistance to food labeling and packaging, to animal welfare and ag pollution.

Europe’s ag commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski says with all the coronavirus crises, there was no food supply crisis, but it elevated the need for rapid transport of food and to strengthen food security. “By linking agriculture to local processing and local markets.  It does not imply any new trade barriers, but the declaration of some preference.”

American science journalist Jon Entine was part of the debate and says proposals within in the deal contradict themselves such as reducing pesticide use by 50 percent while calling for a 25 percent increase in organic production.  Entine says that logic ignores the fact organic production does use pesticides and, many times, more than conventional methods.

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