August 18, 2004, as reported
by just-food.com: The European Commission’s newly
appointed farm commissioner is already coming under fire from critics
who are seeking resignation due to conflict of interests. Critics
maintain Mariann Fischer Boel, of Denmark, will be unable to objectively
handle farm the commission’s farm relations including representation
at the World Trade Organization because Boel is a farmer.
The farm which is owned by Boel and run by her husband has lead
to legal obstacles that could prevent Boel from accepting the four
The argument focuses on the fact that the farm - like most others
- receives substantial EU subsidies. This could break EU rules,
and the Commission says that its lawyers are investigating the issue.
Meanwhile, incoming Commission president José Durão
Barroso says he has complete "confidence" in Fischer Boel,
who says has been stressing the fact that her husband runs the family
farm and that her personal business affairs had not caused problems
in her current post of Denmark's agriculture minister.