JARI LEPPÄ (Centre), the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, declared on Wednesday that the Centre Party wants Finland to become “completely soya-free” by 2025, provoking confusion among both the public and policy members.
The confusion was exacerbated further by a statement given by one of his special advisors, Satu Haapaniemi.
Haapaniemi on Wednesday stated to YLE that the party is indeed advocating stopping the use of soya not only as animal feed but also as human food. Eeva Kärkkäinen, a special advisor of media relations for Minister of Finance Mika Lintilä (Centre), was more successful in clarifying the statement:
“We’re talking specifically about soya as livestock feed. There has apparently been a misunderstanding,” she tweeted yesterday afternoon.
WWF, for example, has reported that using soya as human food is an excellent choice for the environment, as most of the soya produced worldwide is used as livestock feed and the environmental problems of irresponsible soya farming are related specifically to increasing meat production.
Also Leppä clarified his statement yesterday evening, underlining that he was referring only to soya as livestock feed. The aim, he added, should be to also reduce the amount of soya consumed by people.
“There are oats products and whatnot,” he stated to YLE. “But feed is the gist and rule of thumb of today’s message.”
His proposal was subsequently commended also by members of the Green League.
“Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Leppä’s proposal to shift away from using soya in livestock production is a good proposal that’s worth supporting,” said Emma Kari, the chairperson of the Green Parliamentary Group.
She commented on the use of soya as livestock feed also last weekend in expressing her concern with the fires raging in Brazil.
“Brazilian meat is imported also to Finland, although not in particularly high volumes. Soya as feed is a bigger question than meat. Over 13 million kilos of soya was imported last year from Brazil to Finland. If the soya was eaten directly by people, there would be no need to burn forests and the world would not be in a crisis,” she highlighted.
“But the soya is not imported for human consumption, but for use as livestock feed. That is why we need such an enormous amount of soya. Only six per cent of the world’s soya is used as human food.”
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi