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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

We have yet to conclude all our evidence and have not had the opportunity to consider that point, but I am sure that we will.

There are insufficient controls in the food chain to protect consumers from contaminated and potentially unsafe food. We think that this is an opportunity to examine the whole food supply chain. Consumers have been let down by retailers who took on trust the assurances of their suppliers—that addresses the point made by my friend Barry Gardiner. Many consumers rely on supermarkets for their weekly shop and take it on trust that labels are accurate. This situation is worrying precisely because Tesco and other retailers were trying to produce economy products at low cost. The drive to lower costs increases the likelihood of fraud, and that is the point of view of the National Farmers Union. Meat processors also have procedures to check and document sources of raw material, but they do not include DNA testing.