CAP Reform

Oral Answers to Questions — Agriculture, Fisheries and Food – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th June 1991.

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Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon 12:00 am, 20th June 1991

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what proposals he is considering on the means by which the common agricultural policy may be reformed in order to promote better health.

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

The Government fully recognise the need for any reform of the common agriculture policy to pay due regard to the nutrition and dietary needs of the population.

Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon

Why must the British taxpayer subsidise the growing of tobacco in other Community states? Has my right hon. Friend any information to suggest that that iniquitous practice may soon be brought to an end?

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

I have been a consistent opponent of the tobacco regime, which costs £1 billion a year. However, it is difficult to suggest that it is better to import tobacco from outside the Community than to use tobacco grown inside the Community. The real issue is to discourage people from smoking. That is the role of government and that role is becoming increasingly clear to all nations in the European Community.

Photo of Mr William McKelvey Mr William McKelvey , Kilmarnock and Loudoun

Will the Minister accept that there was a forum in Ayrshire last week at which environmental health officers said that they were seriously concerned about the health risk resulting from the number of carcases, which they said was 54,600, that had been buried or disposed of, or in some cases even left lying on the hillsides of Dumfries, Galloway and Ayrshire? Will the Minister examine the issue seriously?

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

We are constantly monitoring that matter. If they were environmental health officers, they came from local authorities which have all the legal requirements to make sure that that state of affairs does not occur and to enforce the law. They should enforce the law.