Secret State 8: there were least two ‘bute’ whistleblowers: denials and admissions
Cornish beef farmer Michael Hart asks: “Does anyone know why the Irish did DNA tests in first place, as I understand it is not routine policy?”
There was a ‘local’ whistleblower to thank for initiating this investigation
Ireland was the first EU state to carry out tests on the presence of horse meat in beef and make public the results. It was claimed that the initial investigation had been started due to a tip off from a whistle-blower from within the meat industry, but that has been denied by the FSAI, though later admitted by DEFRA secretary of state Owen Paterson.
‘The Grocer’ reports that, speaking in the House of Commons on the 11th February, Owen Paterson said: ‘The reason the Irish agency picked up this issue in the Irish plant was that it had local intelligence that there was a problem” . . . in other words someone did blow the whistle.
It was also reported in the FT that a former official said he helped draft a letter to the environment department (Defra), in April 2011. It warned that horsemeat could get into the food chain because of weaknesses in the passport scheme designed to prevent contamination by the anti-inflammatory drug known as bute.
The report adds: “UK food regulators have launched internal inquiries into claims that ministers were alerted over a year ago to the dangers of illegal horsemeat getting into the food chain”.
Several British farmers have contrasted the strict regime under which they have to operate with the apparently lax procedures of retailers and processors
The minister, the chief medical officer and some veterinary scientists have downplayed the health risk of bute to humans – generally failing to mention that the danger is of accumulation, rather than a single ‘dose’.
Michael Hart sent this picture of a sachet of bute medication (not clear because of reflective foil cover) which carried instructions which he felt indicated that bute accumulates to some extent in the body.
He asked: “Why am I as a farmer jumping through lots of hoops on traceability of sheep, pigs and cattle when clearly retailers and processors don’t really care about it, otherwise they would have found out a lot earlier than they did”.
Posted on February 18, 2013, in Civil servants, Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Government, Secret State, Whistleblowers and tagged Bute, DEFRA secretary of state Owen Paterson, Ireland, Michael Hart, The Grocer, UK food regulators. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.