Archived press release
MP spearheads new law for planet-friendly farming
Stoke-on-Trent South MP Robert Flello is spearheading the drive for planet- friendly farming by introducing a new Bill in the House of Commons to limit the climate and wildlife damage caused by factory farming.
Mr Flello was pulled out of the hat in second place out of 20 MPs in the annual Private Member's Ballot in Parliament. This means he has a real chance of getting his Bill passed into law.
The Flello Bill aims to reduce British meat and dairy factory farms' dependence on animal feed grown in South America - destroying rainforests and wildlife and accelerating climate change (1). This will also help UK farmers to thrive by protecting them from yo-yoing animal feed costs and ensuring they are not squeezed by big business farming.
At the moment the Government spends more than £700 million of taxpayers' money each year propping up damaging factory farms, while planet-friendly farmers receive little or no support.
So far 90 per cent of the South American Atlantic Forest - home to the black- faced lion tamarin monkey and the white-collared kite - has been destroyed, much of it for soy farming to produce animal feed. If current trends continue, soy farming and cattle ranching alone will destroy 40 per cent of the Amazon Rainforest by 2050.
Friends of the Earth is calling on people to visit www.fixthefoodchain.com to take action to support the Bill which Mr Flello will introduce.
Friends of the Earth's campaign to fix the food chain has enjoyed support from MPs of all parties, and Mr Flello will now be working with MPs from across the political spectrum to ensure the Bill progresses through Parliament and becomes law.
Andy Atkins, Friends of the Earth's Executive Director, said:
"People are waking up to the fact that the meat and dairy industry generates 18 per cent of the world's climate-changing gases - and that a hidden chain links animals in British factory farms to rainforest and wildlife destruction in South America.
"Friends of the Earth is delighted that Rob Flello is leading the drive for planet-friendly farming by introducing this Bill to Parliament, and looks forward to working with him to make this law a success.
"British people don't want climate change and wildlife destruction handed to them on a plate - the Government must change the way meat and dairy is produced to protect all our futures."
Robert Flello, Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South, said:
"I was shocked to find out just how much a Sunday roast can cost our planet under the factory farming system.
"I am determined to put this right by working with Friends of the Earth and other MPs across the House to lead the drive for planet-friendly farming that doesn't destroy wildlife, rainforests and our climate.
"I hope the people of Stoke-on-Trent will join me in fixing the food chain once and for all."
Notes to editors:
1. The meat and dairy industry produces 18 per cent of the world's climate- changing gases (UN Food and Agriculture Organization report 'Livestock's long shadow"(2006).
2. For further information about Friends of the Earth's campaign for planet-friendly farming, and to add your voice to the call for change, please visit www.fixthefoodchain.com.
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.