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Parliamentary questions
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24 February 2015
E-002743-15
Question for written answer E-002743-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Sirpa Pietikäinen (PPE)

 Subject:  US Meat Animal Research Center in Nebraska
 Answer in writing 

A recent article published in the New York Times of 19 January 2015 reports on the US Meat Animal Research Center in southern Nebraska, where scientists are using ‘surgery and breeding techniques to re-engineer the farm animal to fit the needs of the 21st century meat industry’. The expected end result is to have animals which ‘produce more offspring, yield more meat and cost less to raise’, but at a high cost to the animals' health and welfare.

The Commission’s proposed chapter on sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) has failed to present binding rules to prevent trade in meat and dairy products from animals raised in accordance with poor welfare standards.

Given that this research is part of the ‘science’ used by the meat industry as a basis for increasing meat production and exports, and that the US Animal Welfare Act of 1966 exempts government research from that law, by means of what binding requirements in the TTIP does the Commission believe the USA can be prevented from exporting meat products to the EU using the ‘science’ reported in the New York Times article?

How will the Commission ensure that the emphasis on increasing trade between the EU and the USA does not override animal welfare concerns, given the differences in standards between the two parties?

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