Showing: August 2011
Here you can find an archive of all the news items that have been on this website as well as any comments, polls or surveys.
Madness of scheme to spend millions on homeopathy for beasts
Posted,8/30/2011 6:00:00 PM
Conservative MEPs have condemned as "sheer madness" a proposal to spend a staggering €2 million on research into homeopathic medicines for farm animals. Proposed funding for the costly pilot research project was approved today in an amendement to the EU's draft budget approved by the Euopean Parliament's Agriculture Committee. The extra spending was backed by Socialists, Liberals and Christian Democrats on the committee. But Richard Ashworth, Conservative MEP for the South East and spokesman on agriculture and rural affairs, labelled the scheme outrageous and an insult to taxpayers. He said: "Spending such a huge sum of public money on something so marginal and left-field would be bad at the best of times. "When we are in the middle of an economic crisis, when governments everywhere are taking severe austerity measures just to balance the books, to waste millions on highly questionable new-age remedies for cows and sheep is sheer madness." Most vets are highly sceptical about the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies for livestock and earlier this year the British Veterinary Association issued a warning against them. It said: "The BVA cannot endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or indeed any medicine making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy. As with any medicine, BVA believes that veterinary medicinal products must be evidence-based, with any medicinal claims made by a manufacturer supported."
British government must veto German and French plan for EU Financial Transaction Tax
Posted,8/17/2011 12:00:00 AM
Brussels, Wednesday 17th August 2011 -- The Leader of Conservative MEPs has called on the Prime Minister to state categorically that the UK will reject any plans for a unilateral Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) at an EU level after Chancellor Merkel and President Sarkozy said last night that they would propose one in September.
Sturdy cries foul over illegal battery-cage trade
Posted,8/12/2011 12:00:00 PM
A Conservative MEP is worried that cruel battery-hen cages, which are about to be banned by the European Union, are being bought up in Britain for use in other EU states.The suspicion has been raised by Robert Sturdy, the Conservative MEP for the East of England, who is concerned that some farmers, particularly in eastern Europe, Spain and Italy, will flout the ban when it comes into force in the New Year. He fears that egg producers in the United Kingdom could find themselves disadvantaged when the battery-cage ban begins on January 1. While British farmers have invested heavily to switch to either free range or more-humane "enriched-cage" egg production, it is estimated that nearly a quarter of laying hens in the European Union will still be in conventional cages when the ban begins.Peristent rumours within the industry are of cages being taken out of production only to be bought for use in other EU countries. In one case an entire laying unit was said to have ben dismantled in Scotland and transported across Europe to be rebuilt on a Polish farm. Mr Sturdy, a farmer himself, said: "It has been reported that other countries have been buying our old battery cages with the intention of continuing to produce eggs under what we consider were appalling conditions, and then sell them back into the EU."Poland has made two unsuccessful attempts to persuade the EU to delay the introduction of the conventional cage ban and in France, Spain and Italy only a fraction of egg-producers are ready to meet the new standards. Mr Sturdy has been pressing the EU to deal with the issue. He fears conventional cages will be allowed to remain in use and that those eggs could be sent to Britain and unfairly undercut British farmers who follow the rules.He said: "While the UK egg industry has followed European rules banning battery cages, other countries in Europe have been dragging their feet."The Commission has not answered the question with regards to what will happen to the eggs produced in the EU which do not conform to the new rules, with some suggesting that they may be able to be sold within their own country but not exported," he said."Also, the Commission has not properly addressed the issue of third parties importing battery eggs into the EU, as British battery cages have been bought up as we fazed them out. The danger is that countries outside the EU, could sell eggs into the EU that are not subject to the same standards. This would be extremely detrimental to UK egg producers," he said.The British Government has insisted that UK producers should not be disadvantaged by producers in other EU states who fail to upgrade their systems.
New moves to strengthen borders
Posted,8/5/2011 3:00:00 PM
Conservative MEPs today welcomed an announcement that more money will be spent to secure Europe's borders against criminals and illegal immigration.