This is another example of politicians just not getting it. Tony Burke is the Australian Minister for Agriculture…

Food to Go – Landline – ABC.

DAVID CROMBIE, NATIONAL FARMERS’ FEDERATION: I think we need to expose it for what it is. I mean, it’s an absolute nonsense. It’s not backed by science. I mean, to me, this is just another non-tariff barrier by Europe.

TONY BURKE, AGRICULTURE MINISTER: Food miles is another excuse for protectionism. You have to work on the basis that every consumer campaign that’s geared against you is a challenge and one to beat, so we don’t have data on the precise impact that it’s having so far, but that doesn’t matter. If somebody is out there wanting to stand in the way of Australian produce making its way offshore, then we are going to have the argument with them.

[ad#125-right]PROFESSOR TIM LANG: Frankly, your minister has got to wake up, actually. The new era that he, she, any successors are going to have to address is going to include this messiness that is captured by terms like food miles. It’s not about protectionism in economic senses, it is about protecting the globe.

I’m ashamed to be an Australian when I see these sort of comments being made by a country that has some of the most protectionist measures for literal protection of their food supply.

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Published by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada.