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Document selected : O-000044/2017

Texts tabled :

O-000044/2017 (B8-0322/2017)

Debates :

PV 03/07/2017 - 15
PV 06/07/2017 - 15.1
PV 06/07/2017 - 15.2
CRE 06/07/2017 - 15.1
CRE 06/07/2017 - 15.2

Votes :

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Debates
Thursday, 6 July 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

15.1. O-000029/2017: Follow-up to the Brazilian meat imports scandal
Video of the speeches
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Große Anfrage gemäß Artikel 130b der Geschäftsordnung von Monika Smolková, Olga Sehnalová, Pavel Poc, Eric Andrieu, Hilde Vautmans, Brian Hayes, Lynn Boylan, Petras Auštrevičius, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Alfred Sant, Petri Sarvamaa, Momchil Nekov, Bogusław Liberadzki, Marian Harkin, Stanislav Polčák, Boris Zala, Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner, Matt Carthy, Martina Anderson, Liadh Ní Riada, Branislav Škripek, Bronis Ropė, Anna Záborská, Miroslav Mikolášik, Nessa Childers, Biljana Borzan, Jiří Pospíšil, Luke Ming Flanagan, Dubravka Šuica, Maria Arena, Vladimír Maňka, Ulrike Müller, Kateřina Konečná, Bart Staes, Pál Csáky, József Nagy, Annie Schreijer-Pierik, Norica Nicolai, Davor Škrlec, Martin Häusling, Sirpa Pietikäinen, Ivan Štefanec an die Kommission über die Konsequenzen des Skandals um die Einfuhr von Fleisch aus Brasilien (O—000029/20172017/2735(RSP)) (B8-0317/2017).

 
  
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  Monika Smolková, autorka. – Pán komisár, škandál s brazílskym mäsom a jeho dovozom do Európskej únie prepukol na jar tohto roku. Ale aj v týchto dňoch máme informácie, že práve USA koncom júna úplne zakázalo dovoz brazílskeho mäsa po tom, čo na svoje územie nepustilo až 860 ton hovädzieho mäsa kvôli obavám z ohrozenia verejného zdravia, pretože mäso obsahovalo kosti, krvné zrazeniny a potencionálne škodlivé baktérie. Ja len dúfam, že tých 860 ton už neputuje do Európskej únie.

EÚ má najvyššie štandardy bezpečnosti potravy na svete. Aj napriek tomu sa stalo, že v kontrolnom systéme máme obrovské diery, pretože sa rozdistribuovalo množstvo pokazeného mäsa. Iba na Slovensku následná kontrola odhalila 21 ton pokazeného mäsa, ktoré obsahovalo salmonelu, a ktoré bolo dva roky v soli. Toto mäso by bolo skončilo na tanieri pre deti v školách, pacientov v nemocniciach, v sociálnych zariadeniach, ale aj pre hostí v reštauráciách.

Potravinové odvetvie je v EÚ druhým najdôležitejším odvetvím, ktoré zamestnáva viac ako 48 miliónov osôb. Zložitý potravinový reťazec stále umožňuje podvody a klamanie spotrebiteľov. Preto sa musia do európskej legislatívy dostať prísne sankcie a trestnoprávne postihy pri poškodzovaní zdravia spotrebiteľov.

Štatistiky, ktoré hovoria o výskyte rakoviny pankreasu a hrubého čreva sú neúprosné. Stredná Európa je smutným lídrom v týchto ochoreniach, čo je určite aj dôsledok nekvality potravín. Preto o to naliehavejšie sú otázky, ktoré sme Vám, pán komisár, položili.

Aké záruky vie dať Európska komisia európskym občanom, že nekalé obchodné praktiky v potravinovom dodávateľskom reťazci sa nebudú opakovať?

Vzhľadom na to, že vyšetrovanie brazílskych spoločností prebiehalo dva roky, ako je možné, že tieto nekalé praktiky neodhalili európske kontrolné orgány?

A ešte napokon tretia otázka. Keďže sú na európskych producentov mäsa kladené neustále vyššie sanitárne nároky, aké nároky budú kladené na brazílskych producentov v rámci aktuálne vyjednávanej obchodnej dohody medzi EÚ a Mercosurom?

 
  
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  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, in continuation of our previous exchanges on this issue, I am pleased to reply to the three questions listed in the text of the major interpellation and to provide you with the latest updates on the import of animal products from Brazil.

Let me start, however, by commenting on the wording of the preamble because it seems to imply that the Commission did not react decisively to the issue of the safety of imported meat products. Second, it mentions reports emerging over the last few weeks about illicit trading practices. I would like to know exactly which reports you are talking about. I have already provided you with facts and figures in relation to the reinforced checks carried out by our Member States which led to findings of non-compliant consignments. However, these consignments were not allowed entry into the EU but were rejected at the expense of the importers. In contrast to what the preamble states, however, there are no reports of findings of rotten meat.

If you have such information, it is not known to me, my services or the Member States. If you have it, please provide it to me. The so—called reports referred to in the preamble are not new. They refer to what was reported in the Brazilian press in March this year in relation to products supplied on the Brazilian market, but none of these products ever found their way to Europe – not because we were lucky but because we import only from a small number of establishments from a small number of regions. Moreover, all imports enter the EU only following strict controls. Let me remind you that this is a Brazilian meat fraud. Because of strict import measures and our reinforced checks, we have ensured that it has not become a crisis in the EU. It is important therefore that we deal only with facts. Otherwise this problem will become our problem. Our citizens want strong and transparent action and a high level of protection, and that is what I am committed to giving them.

I also want to address the claim that I did not provide comprehensive answers when I appeared before you in April. The fact is that time did not permit a comprehensive answer, but I provided full and comprehensive follow-up information in a letter to Mr Siekierski, who circulated it widely. Moreover, I arranged for my services to update you in a closed session of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. I also responded to a wide range of written questions on the fraud itself and the wider Mercosur trade negotiations. I can only repeat that I am very sensitive to Parliament’s concerns and that we are committed to keeping the House abreast of any and all developments.

I now want to turn to your specific questions. You will forgive me if I repeat these questions word for word, but I want to ensure that nobody can accuse me of avoiding this issue. First, how can the Commission guarantee to European citizens that these dishonest trading practices in the food supply chain will not be allowed to happen again?

You will recall that the Commission put in place reinforced checks at our borders as an initial response. This aimed to ensure the safety of imports and to allow Brazil the time to take the necessary corrective measures. These measures now include 100% physical checks of all animal consignments and 20% microbiological checks. The result of the reinforced checks performed on Brazilian meat imports up to the end of June were as follows:

First, 5 972 consignments were checked, including 1 566 laboratory examinations. Second, of these, 176 consignments were rejected, largely due to the presence of salmonella and a range of other non-compliances, mostly incorrect certification and cold-chain problems. These results show that the checks currently enforced provide a high level of protection against the introduction of serious risks into EU territory. This is an important vindication of the effective controls that the EU maintains on imports. These checks are, of course, carried out by the Member States, which have been fully supportive of the measures taken by the Commission on behalf of the EU. The Agriculture Council has twice been updated on the situation and fully supports the insistence of the Commission, and indeed all EU institutions, that Brazil addresses our concerns urgently.

As the Commission predicted, our measures have led to a general reduction of imports, with rates varying according to a particular sector. Here I would like to remind you that our measures were not meant to be used as a protectionist instrument against legal imports into the EU, but rather to ensure that the safety and health of our consumers are protected.

I will now turn to the provisional findings of the extensive audit conducted by the Commission from 2 to 12 May. This aimed to address in detail the effectiveness of the Brazilian control services. The results give serious cause for concern. The Commission has repeatedly stressed to Brazil that it cannot view this meat scandal as an isolated problem confined to a small number of establishments. Instead, it needs fundamentally to address questions about the credibility of its official control services. The audit report identified a number of systemic failures of control, which raised serious concerns on our part. First, a range of critical deficiencies were identified, in particular in the horse and poultry-meat sectors and meat preparations and products. Second, the Brazilian authorities failed to act on recommendations to address shortcomings raised in previous audits, despite repeated guarantees that measures had been taken to rectify those failings.

A week ago, on 29 June, the Brazilian authorities also sent an action plan to us, outlining corrective measures to address all the deficiencies identified in the audit report. This action plan is currently being evaluated by the audit services. In light of the results of the reinforced checks and the damaging findings of the most recent audit, I wrote to the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Blairo Maggi, on 7 June asking for robust and immediate action to be taken. Specifically, I requested that the following additional measures be taken immediately by the Ministry of Agriculture: first, to withdraw the authorisation of all companies to export horsemeat to the EU; second, not to propose any new establishment for approval for export to the EU; third, to perform 100% systemic pre-export microbiological checks on all poultry meat, meat products and preparations to be exported to the EU; fourth, that all consignments of poultry meat and meat products and preparations from Brazil shall be accompanied by a health certificate stating that the consignment has been sampled and analysed to check for the presence of salmonella strains and has been found to be compliant with EU legislation; and, fifth, that details of sampling, methods of analysis and results shall be attached to the health certificate accompanying the consignments.

In correspondence on 16 June, Minister Maggi accepted these measures. The Commission is currently in the process of clarifying a number of undertakings given by the Brazilian authorities, putting in place the necessary measures to ensure their effective implementation and advising Brazil of the risk of failure effectively to implement corrective measures. Meanwhile the current reinforced checks at the EU border will remain in place and, in any case, a follow—up audit will be conducted by the Commission by the end of 2017. The Brazilian authorities have been made aware that failure to implement the measures which I described may result in further restrictions, up to the suspension of the import of relevant food products.

I will now take your second question: given that the investigation into Brazilian companies was carried out over the course of two years, how is it that the European monitoring agencies did not pick up on the illicit practices?

The recent meat fraud in Brazil was discovered in an investigation of the federal police using criminal procedures. These include wiretapping all telephone conversations. You will appreciate that such procedures are not open to our audit services, or indeed any audit services. Our audit reports have, nonetheless, been very effective in highlighting weaknesses in the Brazilian control systems. In fact they are the reference internationally for assessing the performance of control services. It is also important to keep in mind that the findings to date relate to a relatively small number of establishments. Only four were approved for export. That is, of course, four establishments too many, which is why we immediately banned them exporting to the EU. There is no evidence that the fraudulent practices which appeared in the Brazilian press extended to export to the EU.

Let us keep in mind that we have very strict controls which are not only reliant on Brazil. Through our Member States, we carry out our own controls at the external borders where all consignments are subject to rigorous checks. Moreover, it is wrong to assume that Brazil has free access to our market. Only a small number of establishments from selected regions are approved. There are strict controls on what can be imported. For example, all beef must be deboned and maturated. There are very strict controls on the movements of animals which are considered eligible for export to the EU. Our insistence on hormone-free products must also be respected. Our audit services have been very effective in ensuring that weaknesses are identified and followed up. In fact over time there has been a big fall in their beef exports to the EU due to the difficulties in meeting our requirements.

A further example of the rigour of our requirements is that no pigmeat imports are permitted from Brazil, owing to previous findings by our audit services, which Brazil had not addressed to our satisfaction. I am nonetheless disappointed that we continue to find problems in Brazil which they have consistent difficulties in addressing. It is not an accident that they do not have the access to our markets which they would like. It is instead a consequence of their failure over time to address our concerns.

Your third question is: given that European producers are held to ever higher sanitary standards, what demands will be made of Brazilian producers in the ongoing agreement negotiations between the EU and Mercosur?

Now moving to a wider dimension, I am aware that you have concerns about the impact of these events on negotiations with the Mercosur countries on a possible free trade agreement. I want to repeat what I have said before here and to be clear on one very important aspect of any such further agreement: it will not undermine our high safety requirements.

Our high food safety standards are not up for negotiation. No. All imports from Mercosur countries, present or future, will always have to adhere to, and abide by, the high quality of safety standards established by our European Union legislation and implemented through our credible certification and control system. The agreement would, however, reinforce cooperation and establish improved information and notification systems in the sanitary and phytosanitary field. It would also put in place a privileged communication channel with the four countries concerned, ensuring that our reaction capacity would be stronger.

To conclude, let me reiterate that a future EU-Mercosur agreement would not lower our high regulatory requirements and food-safety standards for agricultural imports, including from Mercosur countries.

You mentioned the United States’ ban. We have to keep in mind that the United States’ findings, which led to their ban, relate to a very small sample size. Their ban applies only to fresh beef, of which they import only minimal quantities. Moreover, they import from different establishments to the EU. We are not therefore necessarily comparing like with like. I do not consider that we need to be led by the US on issues of food safety. After all, the US has approved the use of hormones in beef production, ractopamine in pigmeat production and chlorination in poultry-meat production. These are practices we would never allow in Europe. So please be careful before advocating that we should follow the United States’ example on food safety issues.

I am nonetheless carefully following the US actions. If they have legitimate concerns which would have consequences for the EU, we obviously need to take them into account.

 
  
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  Mihai Ţurcanu, în numele grupului PPE. – Piețele cheie ale lumii și-au închis în ultimele luni porțile în fața cărnii de vită provenită din Brazilia. În urma scandalului rețelelor de comercializare frauduloasă a unor produse improprii consumului, China, UE și Statele Unite și-au suspendat importurile. În contextul asigurărilor date Comisiei Europene zilele trecute de către autoritățile braziliene cu privire la intensificarea controalelor în fabricile de carne, solicit Comisiei să dea dovadă de prudență și rigoare. Siguranța consumatorului european trebuie să prevaleze asupra oricăror considerente. Respectarea normelor de siguranță alimentară trebuie să se afle, de asemenea, în centrul negocierilor în curs între Uniunea Europeană și statele Mercosur pentru un acord de liber schimb. Este o situație care ne obligă să punem producția europeană pe primul plan prin măsuri mai eficiente de sprijinire a crescătorilor de animale.

 
  
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  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor comisario Andriukaitis, tengo que decirle que me ha sorprendido la incorporación de esta interpelación hoy, en este Pleno. Porque estoy de acuerdo con usted y quiero ratificarle aquí, en esta sesión plenaria por la tarde de un jueves, que hemos tenido información por parte de su departamento; usted vino aquí en el Pleno del mes de abril y ha venido, es decir, la DG SANTE, en el último Pleno pasado, del mes de junio, a informar en la Comisión de Agricultura, y anteriormente tuvimos ya otro debate, también en la Comisión de Agricultura.

Por tanto, información tenemos. La última, que usted nos dio y que hoy nos ha ratificado y nos ha avanzado algo más, viene a decir que, efectivamente, como se ha hecho la auditoría a Brasil del 2 al 12 de mayo, y se han intensificado los controles por parte de las autoridades brasileñas, están apareciendo más casos de salmonela, es decir, al intensificar los controles estamos viendo cómo está pasando en Brasil lo que usted ha dicho perfectamente, y es que los controles sanitarios brasileños no funcionan bien. Tienen anomalías. Y, puesto que es un país del que importa la Unión Europea, evidentemente, tenemos que tener preocupación.

Yo creo que se están haciendo las cosas por parte de ustedes razonablemente bien. Lo único en lo que sí quiero insistir es en que permanezcan y se armonicen los controles de la Unión Europea para impedir que casos como este puedan suceder, porque la alerta sanitaria es muy importante.

Y, termino, nada tiene que ver con el acuerdo con el Mercosur. Es una crisis de salud alimentaria. Nada más.

 
  
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  Urszula Krupa, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Dziękuję za wyjaśnienia. Jednak niedawno debatowaliśmy także nad fałszowaniem i zaniżaniem norm produktów żywnościowych wysyłanych do państw Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej przez znane firmy zachodnie. Te produkty były droższe i gorszej jakości niż te wysyłane do bogatych krajów starej piętnastki, czyli zamiast masła dawano nam margarynę, a zamiast cukru szkodliwe słodziki. Natomiast dzisiaj omawiany jest znacznie poważniejszy problem rangi skandalu, zagrażający zdrowiu, a nawet życiu ludzi poprzez sprowadzanie do krajów Unii z Brazylii zepsutego mięsa z wypełniaczami w rodzaju tektury, konserwowanego kwasami, chemikaliami i skażonego salmonellą.

Okazuje się, że największe kombinaty mięsne przez lata eksportowały na cały świat wołowinę i mięso drobiowe niespełniające norm jakości, w tym duża część miała trafić do krajów Unii Europejskiej, co budzi zdziwienie, gdyż podobno nasze normy bezpieczeństwa żywności są najwyższe na świecie. Wśród trzydziestu producentów mięsa objętych śledztwem są najwięksi eksporterzy wołowiny i drobiu, którzy eksportowali mięsa niespełniające przepisów sanitarnych, co zaprzecza poglądom, że znane firmy nie mogą sobie pozwolić na fałszowanie, co jest czasem podkreślane. Przedsiębiorstwa branży mięsnej miały korumpować zarówno urzędników, jak i polityków, i z powodu korupcji niebezpieczne praktyki nie były zauważane przez brazylijskie organy kontrolne. Według doniesień prasowych Komisja Europejska dowiedziała się o oszustwach właśnie z prasy, mimo że śledztwo eksportera mięsa sprzedającego produkty na kwotę 12 mld dolarów prowadzone było od dwóch lat, a organy kontrolne państw członkowskich zgłaszały różne nieprawidłowości.

Wszystko wydaje się skutkiem prymatu handlu i pieniądza nad zdrowiem i życiem ludzi, co wymaga wzmożenia kontroli. Jednak w dobie globalizacji będzie to bardzo trudne i sam Pan Komisarz razem ze służbami nie da rady. Dobrze byłoby nie tylko wprowadzić kary, ale także powrócić do zasad w każdej dziedzinie życia, najlepiej tych chrześcijańskich.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commission for his explanation. The meat scandal in Brazil was of course shocking and European consumers naturally have legitimate concerns. Our priority should always be to protect the health of our consumers. This crisis must be solved and we must ensure that it does not happen again.

I believe that the EU has taken these concerns seriously. On revelation of the scandal the EU suspended meat imports from Brazil, but these restrictions must stay in place until we can be certain that there are no risks. The Brazilian authorities have to show they have implemented all the necessary measures for their inspection system and safety checks, and in this regard I welcome a second audit by the Commission at the end of this year.

The meat scandal should furthermore give the EU a more powerful argument for a strong SPS Chapter in the negotiations on an EU-Mercosur free trade agreement, which I hope can be concluded by the end of this year. After years of deadlock these negotiations have been revived and I call on the Commission to use this political momentum on both sides to continue pushing forward. This agreement will bring many opportunities for our businesses and consumers and should thus not be overshadowed by this scandal.

 
  
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  Stefan Eck, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar, ich bin sicher, dass Sie alles tun werden, um zu verhindern, dass Gammelfleisch in die EU gelangt, denn wir wissen, es geht um nichts Geringeres als um die Gesundheit der europäischen Bevölkerung. Aber der brasilianische Gammelfleischskandal hat wieder einmal deutlich gezeigt, dass der Handel mit Fleisch- und der Konsum potenzielle Gefahrenquellen für die Menschen, für die Konsumenten darstellen.

Ich wundere mich aber schon, dass wir heute über diesen Fleischskandal reden, jedoch nicht über das, was in diesem Land im Zusammenhang mit der Fleisch und Futtermittelproduktion seit Jahrzehnten entschieden eine ganz andere Dimension hat. Die brasilianischen Regenwälder werden für Weideflächen und den Anbau von Gensoja und Genmais als Futtermittel vernichtet. Indigene Völker wie die Guarani-Kaiowá wurden und werden von ihrem Lebensraum vertrieben und sogar getötet.

Es findet ein gnadenloser Vernichtungsfeldzug gegen die Natur und ein Genozid an diesen indigenen Völkern statt. Aber deswegen wird kein Importverbot als Sanktion auch nur in Betracht gezogen, weil die europäischen Bauern ohne die Futtermittel aus Brasilien ihre Schweine-, Hühner- und Kuhställe dicht machen könnten. Das ist doch der wirkliche Skandal! Innerhalb der letzten Jahrzehnte haben tausende Angehörige indigener Völker Brasiliens ihr Leben verloren, sind verhungert oder wurden sogar erschossen von paramilitärischen Einheiten großer Konzerne, korrupter Politiker und steinreicher Rinder- und Sojabarone.

Dass es ein paar brasilianische Schlachthäuser gibt, die ihr Ekelfleisch verkaufen, ist im Vergleich dazu eine Lappalie. Ich appelliere an Sie, auch dieses Problem wirklich in den Fokus Ihrer Arbeit zu stellen.

 
  
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  Francisco Assis (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, este assunto é um assunto de inequívoca gravidade e, a meu ver, a Comissão Europeia tratou bem o problema no sentido de acautelar os interesses dos consumidores europeus. Mas, para situarmos bem esta discussão, convirá também lembrar que foram as próprias autoridades brasileiras a denunciar estas fraudes à União Europeia, a suspender as exportações e a fechar as unidades de produção em causa, o que significa que as autoridades políticas brasileiras estão, de facto, empenhadas em investigar todo este processo e a impedir novas fraudes, isto é, tem havido da parte das autoridades brasileiras toda a disponibilidade para participarem na investigação em curso acerca das deficiências que eles próprios reconhecem que existem no seu próprio sistema de controlo sanitário e fitossanitário. Por isso, não podemos também demonizar, de forma simplista, o Brasil, nem tão pouco a situação brasileira, que já foi, infelizmente, mas hoje, nos últimos anos, deram-se passos importantes para que a situação brasileira fosse bastante diferente daquela que foi agora aqui retratada.

Por outro lado, é importante salientar que nada disto pode pôr em causa as negociações em curso para a concretização de um tratado de livre comércio com os países do Mercosul. Está absolutamente garantido que, no contexto das discussões que neste momento estamos a levar a cabo, há um capítulo muito rigoroso sobre questões sanitárias e fitossanitárias, no sentido de salvaguardar a segurança dos consumidores europeus. Nem poderia, aliás, ser de outra forma. Agora o que é preciso é também investir seriamente no sentido de garantir a concretização deste acordo comercial que tem uma importância estratégica para a União Europeia.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye-Verfahren

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, muito obrigado pelas explicações que deu aqui relativamente a este assunto. O Sr. Comissário questionou formalmente o Governo do Brasil sobre a fiscalização sanitária dos produtos de carne produzidos no país, tendo suscitado a credibilidade de sistemas de controlo sanitário, depois de a polícia brasileira tem investigado em março um esquema considerado muito grave de corrupção e de venda ilegal de carne.

Os ministros da agricultura reunidos no Conselho do passado dia 12 de junho discutiram o caso da fraude com carne proveniente do Brasil, tendo a Comissão Europeia informado que, em conjunto com os Estados—Membros, implementou medidas de combate à fraude, tais como a suspensão das importações dos produtos e estabelecimentos envolvidos e o reforço das verificações de controlo.

Na sequência da autoria realizada, foram identificadas deficiências críticas e sistemáticas e foi indicado que há muita coisa a fazer pelas autoridades brasileiras, aliás, como disse aqui o Sr. Comissário. Sr. Comissário, trata-se de um reiterado incumprimento das autoridades brasileiras que continuam a não atender às recomendações da União para o reforço do controlo sanitário.

O Brasil é o primeiro fornecedor de produtos agrícolas para a União Europeia com exportações de 1,7 mil milhões de euros de produtos de origem animal. Sr. Comissário, alguma coisa tem que ser feita. Eu penso que o Sr. Comissário é a pessoa indicada para travar isto.

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová (S&D). – Pane předsedající, skandál s brazilským masem je mimořádně závažný, bohužel nikoliv ojedinělý. Před lety to byl skandál s koňským masem, který vyvolal v Evropě pobouření a obrátil pozornost k nekalým praktikám a podvodům v potravinářském řetězci. Byla přijata nejrůznější opatření a spotřebitelé byli ujišťováni, že je situace pod kontrolou, mechanismy dohledu byly posíleny a fungují.

Nyní tedy víme o selhání brazilské strany, kdy po léta bylo z Brazílie exportováno nevyhovující maso. Je proto zcela namístě se ptát, a proto jsem také podpořila iniciativu paní kolegyně Smolkové, jaká opatření Evropská komise podniká k tomu, aby bylo zaručeno, že k zákazníkům se dostane pouze maso, které nebude pochybné kvality, ať je produkováno v EU, nebo dováženo ze třetích zemí.

Hovoříme-li o jednotném trhu a o tom, co občany Evropské unie skutečně zajímá, pak jsou to právě odpovědi na tyto otázky, a já Vám za ně, pane komisaři, děkuji.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-н Председател, уважаеми г-н Комисар, уважаеми колеги, скандалът с бразилското месо идва в тревожно за Европейския съюз време, когато в цяла Централна и Източна Европа гърми един друг скандал с различното качество на хранителните продукти в западната част на Европа и в централната и източната такава.

Направените изследвания в Чехия, Словакия, България за съжаление не само не разсейват тези подозрения, но и в голяма степен ги потвърждават. Това, разбира се, очаквано предизвиква и справедливия гняв на милиони граждани на държавите – членки на Европейския съюз в Централна и Източна Европа, които очакват да получават същото качество, за което са платили и което виждат по рекламите.

Затова двойният стандарт и гражданите „втора ръка“ както те се чувстват са напълно неприемливи и скандалът с бразилското месо също затвърждава тези по-скоро лоши негативни очаквания. Европейската комисия трябва да предложи мерки и решения на тези въпроси и да предложи как точно да бъдат избегнати подобни конфликти.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, htio bih naglasiti da se bojim da je ovaj skandal s uvozom mesa iz Brazila na neki način samo vrh ledenog brijega. Moramo staviti ruku na srce i reći sami sebi, imamo ozbiljnih problema zadnjih godina s raznim zaraženim mesom. U Hrvatskoj je bilo niz primjera gdje je osim brazilskoga mesa bilo i drugih vrsta mesa koje su bile zaražene salmonelom i na žalost i na druge načine i to meso koje je proizvedeno u Europskoj uniji.

Moramo staviti ruku na srce i reći sami sebi da imamo i mi unutar Europske unije svoje probleme jer ako nećemo mi sami tko će drugi brinuti onda o našim građanima, brinuti o našim potrošačima, brinuti o našem zdravlju? Zato gospodine povjereniče, uz veliko povjerenje koje imamo u vas i u rad Komisije, zaista inzistiramo da učinite sve kako bismo zaštitili naše potrošače i naše građane.

 
  
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  Krisztina Morvai (NI). – Kedves Kollégák, kedves Biztos Úr! A nagyobb nyomaték kedvéért én is rákérdezek, hogy már két volt szocialista tagállamból érkezett kollégám rákérdezett: Biztos Úr, lehetséges az, hogy gyengébb minőségű élelmiszerek vannak a volt szocialista országokban, így az én hazámban, Magyarországon ugyanazon név alatt, mint a nyugati tagállamokban? Végeztek Önök ezzel kapcsolatban vizsgálatokat? Van erről tudomásuk? Tehát egy adott árucikknek van egy bizonyos neve, egész más minőségű mondjuk Ausztriában, mint Magyarországon. A brazil élelmiszerbotránnyal kapcsolatban: nincs abban valami bizarr, tegyük a szívünkre a kezünket, hogy arról beszélünk, hogy európai uniós polgárokat megmérgezhetett a Brazíliából érkező hús? Hát miért nem a saját hazánkban a saját gazdáink, kisgazdáink által termesztett húst fogyasztjuk, Biztos úr,mint orvos, Ön nem ezt javasolná a betegeinek, hogy a helyben termelt egészséges élelmiszert fogyasszák?

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, with regard to the Brazilian beef scandal I listened very carefully to the Commissioner and I would summarise my reaction in two words: sincere, but naive. Sincerely he wants to ensure there are guarantees from the Brazilian authorities, but naively so because those beef barons, as Mr Eck pointed out, are never going to change, we have seen that. And we should be doing the same as the US and China: banning Brazilian beef and other products from coming into Europe instead of going along and looking for guarantees which we will never be able to ensure are there.

Secondly, it amazes me that at this time we are also going ahead with a Mercosur deal and we know that the main reason for the Mercosur deal for these countries is to send meat into Europe at a time when the CAP budget is under enormous pressure. There will be an 11 billion deficit because of the United Kingdom withdrawing. There will be a glut of products in Europe as a result, and yet we are talking about doing a Mercosur trade deal. If we do so, we should leave meat products out of it.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank the honourable Members for their suggestions and remarks. May I start with Ms Urszula Krupa, I do not see her in the Chamber but I would like to respond to her personally. The possibility of introducing bans was mentioned.

Colleagues, this is not about a trade war and it is not about protectionism. It is about possibilities to respect the rule of law, to justify our steps, to introduce our official control systems, and to guarantee food safety standards, and of course to follow possibilities to enforce our checks and to see how to address those issues – but it is not about unjustified bans. I know that some like to be protectionist, but this is not about protectionism. It is about possibilities to help the Brazilian authorities and also to have reliable official control systems and we are cooperating in this field.

We will see how things develop and see in which direction we should go. OK, if we do not achieve results we will, as I mentioned, introduce much stricter measures, but all are underway and through our cooperation we have the possibilities to address those issues. It is not about the possibility of once again introducing some unjustified measures, because that is not a European Union value.

The Commission is committed to ensuring that imports from Brazil, and indeed imports from all non-EU countries, are safe – have no doubts about that. The Commission is also very sensitive to the concerns of Parliament in this respect and to keeping you fully informed of developments.

Today I have updated you on the impact of the effective measures we put in place at the very beginning of this crisis. As you know, we reacted immediately. From the outset, the Commission has reacted quickly and decisively in full transparency to ensure that our consumers are not exposed to unacceptable risk.

Some of you mentioned the problem of salmonella within the EU. We have very strict rules. We have the rapid alert mechanism; we react immediately. Speaking of salmonella, we know all about the painful case in Croatia but we reacted immediately to find out from which establishment it came, and of course we know very well that pathogenic strains of salmonella must be addressed at operator level. We are trying to provide more measures to address these issues. Some countries in the EU have declared they are salmonella-free, but only a few. We will see how to move forward and encourage best practice, and of course to achieve better results, have no doubts about that.

Brazil must accept its responsibility to ensure the safety of its exports. Indeed, I have communicated this point to my counterpart, both in person and in writing. We have good collaboration with the Brazilian authorities at the moment. Mr Maggi has accepted the additional measures requested. However, we will maintain the enforced controls at EU borders and the Commission services will carry out a follow-up audit in Brazil by the end of this year, as I mentioned. This audit will examine all measures put in place by the Brazilian authorities to rectify the deficiencies identified in May.

If Brazil fails to implement the necessary corrective measures, the Commission will not hesitate to take stronger action, as I mentioned. This is not simply an empty threat. Rather, it is a reflection of our overarching commitment to ensuring that our consumers are protected from unacceptable risk in all cases.

Some of you mentioned problems with double quality food issues but that is not about food safety, it is not about this situation. Someone also mentioned rotten meat. Please, once again, present us with facts because we have a strict system. We know very well that all our countries, all our Member States, must have registered all those facts. If you have new evidence, please show us. We will react immediately, but we have our rapid alert system and at the moment they have no facts because we are sending those messages into society.

It is also very dangerous to send messages that are not well assessed because then society has a lot of rumours. This is very dangerous. It is against our possibilities to have trust in our food safety system, so I ask you to please present evidence. We are ready to react immediately, have no doubt about that.

Should there be any important developments on this file my services and I stand ready to discuss with you and to update you on the state of play at a plenary, or at committee level, or in writing.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist damit geschlossen.

 
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