Food Prices and Food Poverty

Part of Opposition Day — [Un-allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 5:19 pm on 23rd January 2012.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee 5:19 pm, 23rd January 2012

The House will draw its own conclusions about my hon. Friend’s self-advertising.

I understand that the powers of the Competition Commission are based on the powers of the Commission in Brussels. The EU directorate general for competition has the power to swoop when it believes an investigation should take place. I urge my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to make the same plea to the Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary to adopt those two recommendations—and, indeed, all the Committee’s recommendations.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be aware of the Committee’s work on food security. I hope she will remove any inconsistencies between trying to supply a secure strand of food and sustainable food production. There is an inconsistency at the heart of the Government on that. She will be involved in discussions on common agricultural reform in Brussels. Greening the common agricultural policy could take productive land out of production. It could also be hugely expensive and involve the introduction of more complex regulations, which we should be aiming to simplify.