Food Aid Jun01



The European Court of Auditors (ECA) confirmed that the EU decision to provide £230m in emergency food aid to the Russian Federation in 1999 was based on "political" considerations and not genuine need..The Commission had studied the situation and concluded that there was no food shortage in Russia at the time but it disregarded its own findings and backed the plan in late 1998. The EU saw an opportunity to offload its surpluses, especially beef. Such assistance  could have been given more cheaply and effectively by using export refunds, which make up for low prices on external markets.

Food aid comprising cereals, beef, pigmeat and milk powder only partially benefited the poorest as prices were still too high for them. Implementation was delayed resulting in arrival at destination after the harvest when demand was weakest but storage costs the highest! Such assistance to Russia and East European countries have enriched a few corrupt politicians and officials in these countries at the expense of the European taxpayers. The Commission has learnt nothing from the "Flechard" case that remains unresolved to this day. The EU must stop  political interference with the free market, reform the CAP and improve the  competence of the Commission!




Millions of EU citizens take daily food supplements, usually concentrated sources of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, fibre, plant and herb extracts. Consumer demand for these products has increased enormously with annual sales of some £3bn in the UK and £2.5bn in Germany. The European Commission is concerned that proliferation of these products will make it harder to monitor their medical impact on the EU population. Further, there are differences between Member States in formulation, dosage, purity criteria, labelling and regulatory approval.

In my 30 years experience as a pharmacist I have seen many people deriving substantial benefit from such products - products that are assessed by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, the British Medical Association and UK Government´s Ministry of Health. I have confidence in the competence of such authorities.  The bureaucrats in Brussels should not interfere with Member States in such matters.



The EU Sugar Regime, renewed every 5 years, provides:-

a) Production quotas for each Member State

b) Producer levy that ensures no net burden to the EU budget from EU production

c) An acceptable return to growers despite lower quotas and lower prices for UK farmers resulting from a weak Euro.

d) Regulated access to the EU market to African, Caribbean & Pacific countries (ACP) producing cane sugar.