A LEGION of politicians piled fury on Alberto Garzon’s comments about the quality of Spanish meat because he criticised their two most important loves: gammon and patriotism.
But no-one should ignore his claims that mega-farms ruin the environment.
His own government ordered an inspection into Spain’s pig farms just last month.
Why? Because the EU is taking Spain to court over failure to protect the environment from their slurry.
For years the EU has been demanding Spain meet its environmental obligations. In many cases the country has been cleaning up its act.
But all too often, despite the platitudes mouthed by politicians, a blind eye is turned at a local level to what should be described as – and prosecuted as – environmental crimes.
Across Spain, dubious industrial and agricultural methods have continued to pollute the ground and water of this beautiful nation.
Ever more intensive farming is taking a heavy toll on the countryside – witness the vast swathes of land covered in plastic in the ‘market garden’ region of Almeria.
When it comes to water pollution the grimmest case is that of the Mar Menor, Europe’s biggest salt water lagoon.
Time after time mass death events leave thousands of fish and other sea creatures dead as the oxygen they need is sucked up by algae.
This algae thrives because of the nitrates polluting the water. And where do these nitrates come from? In large part, slurry is allowed to escape and leach into water supplies from the mega meat farms referred to by Garzon.
He does have a point.