The British Poultry Council welcomes the report of the EFRA Select Committee on desinewed meat. The misguided decision by the European Commission to reclassify this product threatened to cost British poultry companies up to £100 million.
John Reed, Chairman of BPC, said: “This situation shows that poultry production is vulnerable to knee-jerk reactions made by the European Commission, and we need a strong UK Government presence to defend British businesses from this sort of ill-timed decision. I hope this report serves to highlight to Government the pressing need to defend British companies and the livelihoods that depend on them.”
He concluded: “It’s good that the EFRA Select Committee has shone a light on this issue. Now we have to ensure that all the other European countries are being treated the same way as the UK, otherwise British companies are going to lose out once again.”
On 4 April the Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced that the European Commission had mandated that the UK impose a moratorium on the production of desinewed meat (DSM) from cows and sheep from the end of April. The ruling also said DSM produced from pigs and poultry had to be reclassified as mechanically separated meat (MSM) from 26 May.
The FSA was clear that there was no evidence of any risk to human health from eating meat produced from the low-pressure DSM technique. There is no greater risk from eating this sort of produce than any other piece of meat or meat product. The European Commission also made clear that they do not consider this to be a public health concern.
On 30 April, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee announced an inquiry, taking evidence from the FSA, Food and Farming Minister Jim Paice MP and Public Health Minister Ann Milton MP. Their report is published on 24 July and is available here.
About the BPC: BPC member companies cover over 90% of UK poultry meat production (850 million birds per year). Poultry is worth around £2 billion at farm-gate and £4.4 billion at retail. BPC member companies directly employ 35,000 and indirectly support another 30,000.