Encouraging Disability in the Foodchain

Posted in: News and Updates

The Guardian reports that the European Commission has announced ambitious intentions to become world’s first climate-neutral continent with plans to cut emissions by 90% by 2040.  It’s a fair bet that few of the EU's population will have had any say in this typically ex-cathedra decision.

And yet, the Commission has not gone as far as it originally intended to as it has retreated on some agricultural regulations in response to disruptive action by farmers and others across a number of countries.  The status of this retreat can be judged by what the EU Agriculture Commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski told CNBC: “We need to reduce the use of pesticides, but not to force the farmers [to do it].”  Indeed.

Despite this hiccup some über-progressive schemes are still going ahead.  The Commission's Unit for Making Life as Bloody Difficult for European Farmers as Possible (OMLaBDfEFaP)  – pronounced um lab dee fap – has announced that, despite rumours, significant new regulations on disability in the food chain will go ahead as planned.

A spokesperson for the Commission, Prof Niamh Müller-Yusuf, said:

"This is an important development that must go ahead; for too long now disabled animals have been excluded from playing a full role in the provision of food. This is an equal opportunities issue, and everyone will be pleased to see the Commission taking a stand. From next year, no longer will it be acceptable for an animal to be excluded just because it isn't perfect.  After all the number of legs a sheep has doesn't affect the quality of its chops."

Prof Müller-Yusuf added, "This is affirmative action in action.  From April 1st 2025, farmers will have to have at least 10% of their animals registered disabled, growing to 20% by 2035.  We look forward to the industry's co-operation with the Commission's Disabled Enabling Animal Division as it tours farms to ensure compliance and enthusiasm".

Müller-Yusuf denied rumours that a decision had been taken in principle to extend the scheme to plants, although ze acknowledged that, over the last few months, there had been intense lobbying from Plants Rights activists across the EU.  There is also an on-going debate about whether plants with special growing needs do better when grown separately, or when integrated into mainstream farming.  Guidance from the Commission's agricultural standards agency (OFF-PLOT) is due shortly.

Posted in: News and Updates


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