HL Deb 10 November 2004 vol 666 c77WA
Lord Pearson of Rannoch

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they are aware of any estimates of the number of people in the developing world who may be dying annually as a result of food subsidised by the European Union's common agricultural policy being released on their local markets; and, if so, whether they agree with those estimates. [HL4740]

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos)

The Government are not currently undertaking any analysis of potential impacts on mortality rates of subsidised European Union food exports to developing countries, nor are we aware of other research on this issue. The Government do, however recognise the damaging economic impact that trade-distorting subsidies in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have on developing countries and we are committed to securing reductions in these subsidies, through reform of the common agricultural policy and the World Trade Organisation talks.

The common agricultural policy reform package agreed by EU Agriculture Ministers on 26 June last year marks a significant shift in the EU's agricultural policy. The decoupling of subsidies from production should increase the market orientation of European farmers, leading to reductions in production and disposal of subsidised surpluses abroad.

The Government also fully support the commitment made at the World Trade Organisation ministerial meeting in 2001 "to reduce, with a view to phasing out, all forms of export subsidies, and substantial reductions in trade-distorting domestic support". These commitments have been further progressed in the World Trade Organisation through the Framework Agreement reached in August this year.