SNP Member of the European Parliament's Agriculture and Rural Development Committee Alyn Smith has today (Tuesday) reacted to the resignation of the EU Health Commissioner, under fire for his alleged links to the tobacco industry. Former Commissioner Dalli has resigned reportedly to 'clear his name' after complaints from the Swedish manufacturers of chewing tobacco, Snuss.
"This is a surprise, and I suspect there's rather more to this story than we have so far heard. From my perspective, where I have certainly crossed swords with Mr Dalli on a number of issues, I have personally always found him willing to listen and very much on top of his brief.
"Many human and animal health issues straddle the Health and Agriculture Commissioner portfolios, and Mr Dalli was regularly badgered by me on issues as diverse as electronic identification of sheep, the welfare of pigs and chickens, food imports and food labelling, as well as, indeed, support to tobacco production.
"While it is far too early to comment on the substance of the allegations, his resignation does mean that we will soon have a new Commissioner. I will be sure to be front of the queue to brief him or her on these issues of major ongoing concern and hope that we can continue the constructive working relationship that has been so useful thus far."