Alberto Garzón has reaffirmed this Wednesday in his criticism of macro-farms and intensive livestock after the controversy created around an interview he gave a few days ago to the newspaper The Guardian. In an interview on Cadena SER, the head of Consumption has attributed the criticism of numerous political leaders against his statements, including socialist regional presidents, to a "hoax" and to the manipulation of his words.
This is exactly what Alberto Garzón has said about the meat industry
The Minister of Consumption has clarified in today's interview that his criticisms have always been directed towards macro-farms and livestock "massive, fast and at the lowest possible cost", and has defended extensive production instead. The controversy generated around his statements is due, he has opined, to a "hoax" launched in the first place by a company "linked to the meat lobby", which has manipulated his words.
Subsequently, the president of Castilla y León, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, tweeted these clipped and decontextualized statements to denounce that the minister was attacking the ranchers. Based on that message from the popular leader, numerous politicians, especially from the PP and Vox, but also socialists, such as the Aragonese president, Javier Lambán, or that of Castilla-La Mancha, Emiliano García-Page, also charged against the minister .
"It is a ball that is being generated, of people who oppose at least one part of the Government, and where everyone put their partisan interests before the search for truthfulness, first of my words, but also of reality: the impact of this livestock of macro-farms in the environment, "the minister specified in the SER interview.
After the criticisms of Lambán and García-Page, the socialist part of the Government has entered the controversy to clarify that Garzón did those statements "in a personal capacity". Both the Minister Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, and the Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, have responded in interviews during the day that the Government's position is not the one defended by their coalition partner.
However, Garzón reiterated today that his statements, in addition to a personal capacity, because he defends those ideas, were made on behalf of the Ministry of Consumption and the policies that his portfolio is carrying out. "It is clear that I am against macro-farms, but my statements are as Minister of Consumption. It could not be otherwise in the case of a matter that is our competence," he said. Thus, he has considered that his statements were "impeccable" and that what he is doing is translating into a political space what the scientific evidence says about this type of livestock.
After the words of the spokesman minister, the second vice president and minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has published a message on her Twitter profile about the controversy in which she has supported Garzón, although without mentioning it directly. "Our country must continue to bet on sustainable livestock, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda and the F2F, and denounce those minority practices that aggravate the climate crisis," Díaz wrote. And it is that "a socially just European Green Pact has a positive impact on public health," he added, in line with the minister's argument, both in the interview in The Guardian and today in the SER.
"All countries are in the same situation and those who listen to us know that the quality of the meat that is made extensively is not the same, allowing cattle to walk, feed on the land, than the model of macro-farms, where in most of the cases the animals cannot even move and are fattened with chemicals ", he said, before recalling that the European Commission" has opened a file with Spain "for the excess of nitrate in the soils due to this type livestock.
Garzón explained in the interview that he has spoken with Yolanda Díaz about the issue and that the vice president has discussed the matter with Pedro Sánchez, although he has clarified that he has not spoken directly with the Prime Minister. Even so, he has blamed the dissent between both parts of the coalition on the normal difference of opinions between two different parties that share a government project.
Garzón's statements have also generated a cataract of angry reactions in the primary sector. From Coag to agricultural organizations in Aragon or Castilla y León, or the Federació de Cooperatives Agràries de Catalunya (Fcac), which has requested his resignation and has considered "unfair that once again the head of Consumption points to the livestock sector as the main cause of the climate change, presenting misrepresented information and issuing generalized disqualifications ", to other professional agricultural and meat organizations.
The General Council of Official Associations of Agricultural Technical Engineers of Spain has also expressed its "rejection", while the Andalusian Council of Official Associations of Veterinarians has assured that its words "once again touch the ridiculous, are lacking any foundation, are seriously lacking to the truth and they generate serious damage to the meat industry of our country putting at stake, among other issues, innumerable jobs ". For its part, the Official College of Veterinarians of Zaragoza has also described the statements as "hoaxes", and has considered that they are "an offense for professionals, technicians, industrialists, researchers and farmers".
However, Garzón has reaffirmed himself in his words and insisted that the policy that he is developing from his Ministry is "congruent" with the policy of the European Union and with that of many autonomous communities in Spain. In this regard, he recalled that, despite Page's criticism, his own government approved a moratorium in December to prevent the establishment of new macro-farms in the region.