Food For Thought

Urgent Concerns on Food Sovereignity

The Irish Senate has passed a motion calling on the Irish government to reject the provisional application of the CETA (Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement ) with Canada at the Council of Ministers meeting on October 18 2016.

The Irish Food Writers’ Guild welcomes the Senate’s vote and congratulates independent Senator Alice Mary Higgins on the success of the motion. The Guild supports the view that the CETA treaty will have detrimental effect on our food sovereignty; our agricultural sector; and on the future nutritional health of the nation.

The Irish Food Writers’ Guild are particularly concerned about the following issues:

  • The new negative listing system of the treaty means everything is in the treaty unless otherwise stated. Many of our European neighbours have inserted hundreds of foods and other activities as being excluded from CETA, Ireland has only listed six economic activates to be protected. Except aquaculture, no other Irish food or agricultural activity will be protected.
  • New international courts called the Investment Court System (ICS) will hinder our Government from creating positive legislation to support local food and agriculture sector as arbitrators view these as a barrier to market for trans-national food businesses.

The Guild supports the view that the Government should not authorise provisional application of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA). Ireland’s food sovereignty should be protected by upholding Article 29.5.2 of the Irish Constitution which states: ‘The State shall not be bound by any international agreement involving a charge upon public funds unless the terms of the agreement shall have been approved by Dáil Éireann’.