EU To Crackdown On Hemp Subsidies

EU To Crackdown On Hemp Subsidies
Posted by FoM on November 10, 1999 at 13:59:01 PT
Source: UPI 
European Union farmers are reportedly planting marijuana and seeking European Union subsidies for hemp. The Financial Times reported Wednesday the European Commission is preparing to approve a crackdown on subsidy abuses in connection with wide-ranging reform of EU agricultural policy on hemp and flax. 
The newspaper said European Union farmers plant cannabis, claim subsidies for hemp, which is part of the same plant family, and generally get away with it because fraud detectors have greater difficulty distinguishing between the plants. The European Commission was expected to approve a crackdown on subsidy abuses at some point this week as part of reform of what's known as the Common Agricultural Policy. The commission is also wrestling with skyrocketing annual costs for such subsidies which have shot up from some $70 million in 1995 to nearly $150 million this year. Farmers reportedly claimed subsidies for flax and hemp crops they planted never harvested. The EU is also addressing reports of farmers moving into flax and hemp production specifically to claim subsidies instead of meeting market needs of other products. The Financial Times reported that EU land given over to the two crops has tripled in five years. Flax and hemp are used in industries including paper, furniture- making and textiles. At issue are proposed reforms that would slash per hectare aid for the crops, but could allow supplementary assistance for quality varieties. Earlier this month, the Financial Times reported EU member nations agreed to sugar and milk product subsidy cuts of as much as 7 percent to keep within the year 2,000 spending limits. While the farm subsidies cuts added up to only some $192 million, they were the first obvious sign that agricultural reforms are affecting Europe's politically powerful farmers.  BRUSSELS, Belgium, Nov. 10 (UPI) Copyright  1995-1999 Excite Inc. Cannabis News Hemp Related Articles:
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