Food: Imports

House of Lords written question – answered on 14th January 2010.

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Photo of Lord Tebbit Lord Tebbit Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they continue to allow the import from France of meat and meat products from animals fed on sewage sludge.

Photo of Baroness Thornton Baroness Thornton Government Whip, Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The use of sewage sludge in animal feed has been specifically prohibited in European feed legislation since 1991.

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David Wright
Posted on 15 Jan 2010 1:46 pm (Report this annotation)

The question referred to the continued importation of such meat, not whether there is or is not an EU prohibition. It is well-established that the French disregard EU rules when it suits them. We usually apply the EU rules as stringently as they can possibly be twisted to mean, aka 'gold-plating' them, but it may well be that even though we apply the prohibition to animals fed here, we do not extend the prohibition to animals and animal products fed in the prohibited manner elsewhere. Hence the question.
The Baroness is surely well aware of the implications and her evasive answer suggests that the government has something to hide and that we do in fact import such meat.
Lord Tebbit would not have asked the question unless he had some prior knowledge or well-founded suspicion of this underhand practice.
What we now need is the publication of a list of the items which contain such obnoxious meat.