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Health written question – answered on 2nd July 2012.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Chair, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when the category of desinewed meat was created in the UK; who approved its creation; and what discussions were held on the classification of this category with (a) the Food Standards Agency, (b) the European Food Standards Agency and (c) the European Commission.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

We are advised by the Food Standards Agency, which was established in 2000, that the term 'desinewed meat' is a commercial term originally devised by United Kingdom industry. It was first used around 1995 to describe a product with an appearance similar to that of minced meat, produced by the mechanical separation of residual meat from non ruminant animal bones and/or the mechanical removal of sinews from de-boned meat.

This product fell within the definition of 'meat preparations' in national regulations in force at the time. As this was a commercial term used by industry to describe a product, no discussions on its creation were held with the European Commission or the predecessor to the European Food Safety Authority, the Scientific Committee on Food, which was in existence at that time.

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