UKIP MEP clashes with German Green MEP over organic farming
21st November 2012
During a debate in the European Parliament (21.11.12) in Strasbourg, on preparations for the European Council, Stuart Agnew MEP, the UKIP agriculture spokesman, challenged the Green spokesman, MEP Helga Trupel, to justify their support for organic farming.
Mr Agnew said: Why do we need organic farming? This is a system of farming that is 50 years out of date. It is a system of farming that does not produce enough for us to eat. It is a system of farming which guarantees that food will be more expensive. Why do you want to inflict this on the people of Europe?"
In response, Ms Trupel outlined her belief that a reform of agriculture is needed and argued for a community agricultural policy and against going back to national agriculture policies, which she said was "not responsible." She said that direct payments to the agro industry were "not sustainable."
Commenting on Ms Trupel's response, after the debate, Mr Agnew said: "The reply to my question was filled with Green rhetoric but no real substance. The fact remains that organic farming cannot produce enough food and what it does produce will be very much more expensive to buy, at a time when many people are already struggling to cope with everyday household bills. I would argue that organic farming is not sustainable." Ends
To view the full exchange between the two MEPs, go to: http://www.ukipmeps.org/articles_496_Stuart-Agnew-speaks-out-for-free-choice-on-organic-farming.html.
Stuart Agnew MEP is a member of the National Farmers Union and served as their Norfolk County Chairman in 1998. He was also the Norfolk Delegate to the NFU HQ Council from 2000 to 2009, when he relinquished the position on being elected to the European Parliament. He is a member of the Parliament's Agriculture & Rural Development Committee. He farms in Norfolk (free range eggs, sheep and 400 acres of arable land).