Sunday 1/16/22
AGRICULTURE

PM Sanchez "deeply regrets" meat controversy raised by Minister Garzon

In a radio interview, Sanchez avoids admitting that Garzón's words have also caused discomfort within the government
12/29/2021. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during his appearance before the media to present the third edition of the Executive's accountability report 'Cumpliendo' (Complying) and summarize the first two years of his mandate. Photo: La Moncloa.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez during his appearance before the media to present summarize the first two years of his mandate. Photo: La Moncloa.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he "deeply regrets" the controversy raised by Consumer Affairs Minister Alberto Garzon (Unidas Podemos) with his statements on the quality of the meat produced in Spain.

A few days ago, in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian, Garzon claimed that mega-farms are harmful to the environment and lead to the export of low-quality meat from Spain.

"What isn't at all sustainable is these so-called mega-farms… They find a village in a depopulated bit of Spain and put in 4,000, or 5,000, or 10,000 head of cattle. They pollute the soil, they pollute the water and then they export this poor quality meat from these ill-treated animals, ”said the minister during the interview.

His statements have angered the Spanish meat industry, farmers and ranchers. They have also provoked a cataract of criticism, some of them from prominent members of the government's ruling party PSOE (Social Democratic).

In his first interview of the year, on the Spanish radio station SER, Sanchez pointed out that the controversy surrounding Garzon and his statements about the meat industry "does not correspond" to the efforts that the government is making for the sector. As examples, the prime minister mentioned the Spanish law that regulates the food chain or the decree to order farms in the pig and poultry sector.

Resignation

"Now we are working to organize the beef and milk sector," he said.

Sanchez has avoided acknowledging that Garzon's words have also caused discomfort within the government. He did not want to clarify whether he has spoken with the minister of Consumer Affairs about the incident.

He also did not want to talk about the dismissal or resignation of the minister, which is demanded by the agrarian unions and the right-wing opposition parties.

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