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Monday, 5 January 2015

German agriculture minister: "not every sausage" can be protected...

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. 

Will cat-food be affected too?!
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). 

It will indeed be interesting to learn what the exact plans under the TTIP will ultimately be (some official information can be found here and here) and how they may in turn affect the scope of EU PGI and PDO protection and enforcement.

3 comments:

Michael Factor said...

Maybe only chicken fried in Kentucky should be sold as Kentucky Fried Chicken?

Mark said...

English muffins? Unknown in England, except as US import. Welsh rarebit? Scotch eggs?

Anonymous said...

When the appellation of sausages is at stake, one must not forget the classics. Emulsified high-fat offal tube: Mmmmm, yummy!!!

Foreigner bashing on one day, but free trade in sausages on the other. Is this yet another case CSU consistency? This bunch also provided intellectual beacons Friedrich and Aigner to fill the post of agriculture minister.

The foreigners could perhaps dress in a sausage casing to increase acceptance. (Dirndl?)

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