• 15 December 2016 - Czesław Adam Siekierski – [P-009492-16] - Subject: Impact of CETA on the EU's agri-food sector:
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the EU raises serious concerns among the European public, in particular among consumers and farmers. One complaint often made against CETA is that its entry into force would lead to the gradual disappearance of small-scale family farming from our continent. It has been pointed out that trade liberalisation in the area of agricultural production would lead to the collapse of small EU farms, which will be unable to compete with huge Canadian farms. Another complaint that is raised is that CETA will open the European market up to genetically modified food from Canada, which is one of the largest global producers of GM foods, and will lead to a drop in quality standards.
Given these concerns, which are often brought to my attention by a variety of stakeholders in my capacity as Member of the European Parliament, I should like to put the following questions to the Commission:
On the basis of the information available to the Commission, will the entry into force of CETA:
1. Have a negative impact on small-scale farms in the EU? If so, to what degree?
2. Lead to the opening of the European market to genetically modified food from Canada?
3. Lower food quality standards on the European market?
Answer given by Mr Hogan on behalf of the Commission (2 February 2017):
«1. The EU impact assessments on trade agreements, including on the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union (CETA), consider the EU agricultural sector as a whole and the methodology used cannot specify the impact on small-scale farming. That being said, the EU does not grant full access to the EU market for sensitive products such as beef and pork, while CETA will provide significant market access opportunities to a number of sectors such as dairy and pig meat which could equally benefit small and large farms from the EU. CETA will also improve the protection of a range of EU geographical indications (GIs) on Canada's territory which will enhance export opportunities to a number of GIs producers who include small-scale farmers.
2. With respect to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), CETA will have no impact on the existing EU legislation. As a result, GMOs and derived GM food and feed products now subject to an approval decision of the Commission, based on a thorough scientific risk assessment prior to their marketing in the EU, will continue to be subject to such an approval. In addition, these products will continue to be subject to EU specific GM traceability and labelling requirements.
3. CETA will have no impact on EU food quality standards as the agreement will not affect public or private quality standards.».