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DEFRA Report on Food Contamination Unhappy with FSA Response

July 17, 2013

The latest report on Food Contamination has been published by the Department for Food Environment and Rural Affairs. The document follows on from the previous report into Contamination of Beef Products released in February. At that time further testing of products for contamination was recommended. Now that those sampling programmes have been completed the latest report concentrates on developments since April 2013 including the interim findings of the independent review of the Food Standards Agency’s reaction to the ?horse meat crisis?.

MPs are unhappy at the slow pace of investigations with many questions still left unanswered six months after the first mislabeling cases emerged. Anne McIntosh, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee who were responsible for the report said; ? I think its just shocking that we still don?t know at what point the contamination entered the food chain.? The FSA?s testing programme? is criticised for not being ?sufficiently innovative or forward-looking? with the authors urging it to become ?a more efficient and effective regulator of industry.? Sampling revealed that 14 of 836 samples containing horse meat from the UK also contained traces of the painkiller bute, the highest level in the European Community. The role of Local Authority food sampling is also discussed with the admission that; ?Local Authority budget cuts are resulting in a changing landscape for the delivery of food legislation.? Inconsistencies in sampling rates were pointed out with figures for 2011-12 revealing that three local authorities in England and Wales failed to carry out any testing while 19 authorities failed to report their results by June this year.

The Full Report is available at: http://bit.ly/148HGZT


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