Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Frankenfish and Farce

I've read today that apparently a new breed of GM salmon could soon be winging its way to Europe and could well be on a table near you very soon. The genetically altered specimen grows twice as fast as a normal fish and has been approved by American authorities as safe for human consumption. We already face encroaching widespread fish farming as Brussels' Common Fisheries Policy drains our oceans of stock, but the thought of genetically modified farmed fish makes my skin crawl.
GM crops are one thing, but man made fish is surely taking the laws of nature and totally ripping up the rule book. European legislation suggests each member state is able to decide how much they wish to use genetic modification, but does put a ban on cloning. However with the amount of meat and fish brought in from third countries via trade deals, and repackaged and sold in supermarkets, it is likely at some point the Frankenfish will descend on Europe. Chilling.

Meanwhile whilst we are facing cuts a plenty here in the UK, Baroness Ashton has the cheek to demand an eight per cent budget increase for her new EU External Action Service (read here "EU Foreign Affairs".) Not only is there surely no room to maneouvre for a so called external service when foreign affairs is supposed to remain a sovereign dependency, but whilst the rest of Europe scrimps and saves post recession, the good Baroness has thrown frugality out of the window.

I received a big cheer from the hemicycle today after once again pointing out to the wasteful Commission that few MEPs can see the worth in travelling all the way to Strasbourg once a month (or even twice, as it has been this month) to hold debates which could more easily and cheaply be conducted in Brussels. Why we transport thousands of staff with a cargo of trunks packed with documents across the continent to a rather grandiose building used but 12 times a year, all funded by the taxpayer, I surely don't know. It is an absolute farce and should really rile the hardworking citizens of Europe who are seeing public services cut, taxes raised, prices shoot up all under the watchful eye of the supposedly austere European Commission.

It's more a case of "do as I say" not "do as I do" and quite frankly it has to stop. This issue unites MEPs from all countries and parties, other than a handful of French whose country no doubt benefits from the monthly circus coming to town. I thought the Gallic trend was currently to evict workshy, tax-feeding foreigners? Perhaps not!

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