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Contamination of Beef Products

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:04 pm on 14th February 2013.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee 12:04 pm, 14th February 2013

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered the matter of the publication of the Eighth Report of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Contamination of Beef Products, HC 946.

It give me great pleasure to take this opportunity, for which the Select Committee is extremely grateful, to launch our report on the contamination of beef products, our eighth report. I am particularly grateful for all the support of colleagues on the Committee and for the swift turnaround in taking the initial evidence and receiving it in written form. We are grateful to those who gave evidence, as we are to those on the Committee secretariat who helped us to prepare the report.

This is a matter of huge public interest. Our earlier report in July last year dealt with desinewed meat, and I want to refer to the conclusion drawn by a former director of the Food Standards Agency that there is a direct correlation between the Commission’s unilateral ban on desinewed meats in this country and the entry of suspicious filler products in March last year. We conclude that the scale of contamination is breathtaking. This is a European crisis requiring a European solution. One month on, we are still no clearer as to where the suspicious substance enters the food chain. Today we heard from the Farming Minister of doubts being cast on the effectiveness of the European horse passport system.