27 Ean 2011, 14.44

The swift investigation conducted by the Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food into the pork contamination crisis was one of the main achievements of the Committee which held its final meeting this week.

In total, the Committee held almost 100 meetings since its inception in November 2007. Another of its key contributions was the detailed proposal it submitted to Europe on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It produced this document following extensive public consultation with many groups and organisations impacted by the proposed changes to the CAP.

Among some of the other principle topics addressed by the Committee were; highlighting the issue of the import of Brazilian beef, the concerns surrounding misleading food labelling, the WTO trade discussions, forestry and its impact on climate change, the Common Fisheries Policy,  the implications of the nitrates directive and the Lost at Sea Scheme.

Committee Chairman, Johnny Brady TD said;
“Overall, I feel that the Committee made a valuable input into some of the most pressing agriculture issues which arose over the last three and a half years. We provided a platform whereby people with diverging viewpoints could make their case.

I am particularly proud of the work the Committee did following the contamination of Irish pork products. We responded quickly to the crisis by holding a series of public meetings and getting to the bottom of how this serious situation arose. I believe that the extensive recommendations we compiled will go some way towards ensuring that a future incident does not reoccur.

The Committee’s proposals on CAP reform also demonstrated how Oireachtas Committees can have a meaningful role into policy direction. Following a number of meetings with interested parties we produced recommendations which we feel will help protect the interests of Irish farmers.

Unfortunately, the Committee was unable to cover all the topics it would have liked such as on-line gambling legislation and the welfare of horses since the decline of the Celtic Tiger.

I would like to thank all those who served on the Committee and devoted their time to its proceedings.”

ENDS
Daniel English
Oireachtas Communications Unit
01 618 4484
087 6944926
Full committee membership:
Johnny Brady, TD, Fianna Fáil (Chairman)
Thomas McEllistrim, TD, Fianna Fáil, (Vice Chairman)
Mattie McGrath, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Christy O'Sullivan, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Bobby Alyward, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Noel Coonan, TD (Fine Gael)
Martin Ferris, TD (Sinn Féin)
Andrew Doyle, TD (Fianna Fail)
Eamon Scanlon, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Tom Sheahan, TD (Fine Gael)
Shane McEntee, TD (Fine Gael)
Seán Sherlock, TD (Labour Party)
Ned O'Keeffe, TD (Fianna Fáil)
Senator Paul Bradford, (Fine Gael)
Senator John Carty, (Fianna Fáil)
Senator Michael McCarthy, (Labour Party)
Senator Francis O’Brien (Fianna Fáil)