Committee report on Desinewed Meat ‘spot on’ says BMPA

Committee report on Desinewed Meat ‘spot on’ says BMPA

The BMPA has welcomed the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report on Desinewed Meat, published today. The BMPA gave written evidence to the inquiry.

Stephen Rossides, director of the BMPA, said: “We welcome the decision to undertake this inquiry. The Committee’s report is spot on both in identifying the key issues surrounding the moratorium debacle, and in its recommendations about the lessons to be learned and the steps that need to be taken.”

“The report reaffirms that there are no food safety concerns around the use of desinewed meat, which makes the European Commission’s disproportionate and punitive threats and actions against the UK all the more perplexing. We share the Committee’s irritation and concern that the Commission did not see fit to take up the Committee’s offer to give oral evidence to the inquiry.”

He added: “We welcome the Committee’s statement that the Government must seek support from other EU member states for the UK position, and press the Commission to lift the moratorium.”

“The report is quite right to highlight as ‘totally unacceptable’ the potential for wrongly labelled or unlawful products to be imported into the UK to replace UK-produced DSM.”

One of the key findings in the report is that there has been confusion of roles and in communication amongst the FSA, Department of Health and Defra in the handling of this issue, and that the situation needs to be clarified and improved.

Rossides continued: “As the report identifies, the FSA makes much of its view that its role is not to promote or protect the industry, yet it is FSA officials, not ministers, that have been negotiating with the European Commission on this important issue which has a huge impact on the meat industry. The meat industry needs a champion in Government. Like the Committee, we would welcome closer DEFRA involvement on the matter.

“As the report states, in the final analysis, it is industry that is bearing the costs of this very sorry episode, with very severe consequences for some individual businesses.”

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