Remove trade barriers, Zambian parliamentarian urges EU

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Zambian parliamentarian Charles Kakoma has urged the European Union (EU) to consider removing trade barriers on African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.


Contributing to the discussion on “Meat crisis; implications for food safety”, at the just ended ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels yesterday, Mr Kakoma said it was unfortunate that people in some European countries were subjected to eating horse meat.


He wondered why the situation had reached such an extent stating that if the reason for selling horse meat by some abattoirs in Europe was to increase supply in order to meet the growing demand, then the EU should get back to the drawing board and lift trade barriers.


This is according to a media statement made available to ZANIS today by First Secretary for Press at the Zambia Mission in Brussels, Belgium, Lambwe Kachali.


Mr Kakoma said the EU should understand that the world was a global village and should co-exist- saying products such as meat could be imported from many ACP countries.


 “The problem why the EU finds itself in this scandal is because it has become too protectionist. What is surprising is that the EU says it cannot import beef from African countries because of diseases.


“But the same Europeans when they come; for instance, to Zambia, they eat beef and become even healthier. We have never heard of any European in Zambia or any other ACP countries complain that they became sick after eating beef. So what’s the difference- on one hand EU says it cannot import meat from Africa and on the other hand when same Europeans come to Africa, they eat the same beef,” he said.


And the European Union representatives concurred with Mr Kakoma’s point of view and said it was a societal problem which was being looked into.


The horse meat scandal, which began in Britain but now involved multiple countries, first sparked when the Food and Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) issued a press release in January saying that some burgers labelled as “beef” had tested positive for horse and pig DNA.


Since then, several European food manufactures had scrambled to pull such products from shelves.


The EU had since instructed member states to conduct random tests for horse meat and report the results.