The House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Environment heard from Paolo De Castro, Chairman of the European Parliament Agriculture Committee, as part of its Inquiry into Innovation in EU Agriculture.
The aim of the inquiry is to identify how innovation in EU agriculture can be best supported, particularly at a time when factors such as population increase and climate change have greatly affected the scale of the challenges facing agriculture in the UK, Europe and globally.
Mr De Castro, a former Italian agriculture Minister, was asked questions in relation to:
- the impact on innovation of farming subsidies
- how the Common Agricultural Policy can be changed to help farmers innovate
- the impact of EU environmental regulations, such as GMO policy, pesticides regulation and a possible ban on the cloning of animals, which can block agricultural innovation
- assistance from the EU Research Programme
Under new powers granted by the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament Agriculture Committee, will have an important role in negotiation of the new Common Agricultural Policy over the next couple of years.