|Will cat-food be affected too?!|
Monday, 5 January 2015
German media today reports some excitement surrounding the proposed EU-American Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and its potential effect on the scope of EU Geographical Indication protection, such as PDO and PGI protection. The proposed TTIP treaty plans to enable free trade between the EU and America.
In a recent interview with the German weekly news magazine Spiegel Germany’s minister for agriculture, Christian Schmidt, a member of the CSU party, which is the Bavarian sister party of Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU party, said that “if we want to take the chance to make the most of free trading with the huge American market, we cannot protect every sausage and cheese as a specialty any more”.
His main points of criticism of the current regime appear to be the “bureauctatic nature” of the PGI and PDO legislation and the fact that it, in his view, (also) “protects specialties whose raw materials are no longer produced in their home regions”.
This interview has caused a lively debate in Germany, with support for the plans as well as criticism. Some critics fear that the traditional Nürnberger Bratwurst (a type of sausage from the German city of Nuremberg), could now come from Kentucky and others wonder whether EU standards could slip as a result of American imports, mostly in connection with genetically modified food. Obviously, the TTIP does not only concern German foodstuffs but “specialties” from the whole of the EU (see for example here).