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NFU: Government Should Stop FSA Plans

by 5m Editor
26 May 2011, at 9:50am

UK - The NFU has urged government to stop the Food Standard Agency's plans to recover full costs for meat controls from the livestock industry, after its board met yesterday and agreed to the proposals during an open meeting.

The NFU believes that the plans will impact heavily on the competitiveness and sustainability of the red and white meat sectors and has called for an urgent and comprehensive review of existing controls to be carried out, to find efficiencies and identify viable alternatives in the current system.

NFU livestock board chairman Alistair Mackintosh said: “The Richard Macdonald review into reducing regulations highlighted a numbers of ways in which the meat hygiene service can be changed, within current EU legalisation, and offer significant savings to industry. Allowing meat processors to source meat inspection services from accredited private-sector providers within a system managed by the competent authority is just one example.

“It therefore makes no sense for the FSA board to progress down this route of full cost recovery without firstly giving due consideration to the recommendations made within the Macdonald report, and the calls from industry, to put in place a cost effective and efficient inspection regime.

“The NFU has always believed that the FSA proposals have the potential to severely undermine the competitiveness of the British meat industry and we find it outrageous that we are being asked to pick up the costs of an out-dated, disproportionate inspection regime carried out by a high-cost, monopoly public service provider in the FSA.

“Since the FSA board is unwilling to see sense on this issue we are calling on the government to intervene and stop the current proposals. A comprehensive review of current meat hygiene controls, and the implementation of the Macdonald recommendations, must take place before we can even consider full cost recovery.“