Sir, - My sympathies go out to the Minister for Agriculture however he is in a no win situation of his own making. Getting involved in the operational details of a commercial enterprise (farming) is not the role of Government. The role of Government and its Ministers is to create the conditions in which free commercial transactions take place.

BSE is a problem for the farming industry. As the representative body, it is up to the IFA to put together a plan of action to eradicate the problem and restore consumer confidence. If the Minister were to allow the president of the IFA to negotiate contracts on behalf of its members, we would hear a very different story from Mr Donnelly.

Wise up, Ivan. Yours. etc,

Rathoath, Co Meath.