One of the senior commissioners in the European Commission has said food security is not a major concern for the EU. Speaking in Brussels on Monday, European Commissioner for the Environment Virginijus Sinkevicius told MEPs on the EU’s agriculture committee that he believes food security is not a major concern for the EU.
"Other challenges dominate our food systems such as food waste, overconsumption, obesity, and its overall environmental footprint," said Sinkevicius, who previously spent three years as deputy leader of the Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union.
While not wholly unexpected, it is still surprising for a senior commissioner in Europe to make such a statement given the history of the European project. After all, it’s not so long ago that Europe was a continent on the brink of starvation after World War II.
The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) was first established to incentivise food production across Europe in order to provide adequate food for the millions of Europeans that went to bed hungry every night.
And while Europeans have since become some of the wealthiest consumers on the planet, food insecurity is still a major challenge for many sections of society in Europe, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
The old saying that eaten bread is soon forgotten couldn’t be more appropriate for many of the policymakers in Brussels today. At a time when global food insecurity is rising and more than 820m people will go to bed hungry tonight, the European Commission is telling its farmers and food producers to ease back on production and pivot to organic forms of food production, which will mean a significant reduction in output.