Bratislava, February 2 (TASR) – Risky meat was stamped by the Polish veterinary authority, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Gabriela Matecna (Slovak National Party/SNS) said on RTVS’s discussion programme ‘Sobotne dialogy’ (Saturday Dialogues) in connection with the food scandal involving Polish beef.
“Risky meat that was imported via distribution channels to Slovakia and other 14 EU countries had a stamp of a Polish vet,” said Matecna. Businessmen who imported the meat in question to Slovakia thus had documents it’s a harmless meat.
Member of the parliamentary agricultural committee Martin Fecko (OLaNO), who was also on the show, said that dealers of risky Polish meat in Slovakia immediately realised where they are not punishable, i.e. in meat deliveries for public catering. “As soon as the meat would enter any interim warehouse, the veterinary inspection would catch them,” stated Fecko.
According to Fecko, Slovakia can only avoid such food scandals by increasing its food self-sufficiency. “However patriotic would we be, it’s a wallet that decides in the end,” he stressed, suggesting that the state should introduce such tax and levy preferences that would make local breeders sell meat in Slovakia rather than abroad.
According to Matecna, SNS has introduced a special levy for retail chains with the purpose of local farmers’ financial support. “The money from the levy will go to farmers through the so-called green diesel. This is how we can reduce their cost item. The rest of the money from the levy will go for veterinary measures and to the risky fund,” said Matecna.
However, Fecko opposed that the levy will chiefly increase food prices in Slovakia and won’t help farmers in Slovakia as much as its submitters expect, expressing worries about transparency of distribution of revenues from the special levy.