FSA approves DEFRA sale of meat from TB-affected cattle: very low risk – for those who can avoid it

owen paterson wigging over horsemeatA medic alerted PCU to the Times report that DEFRA is earning £10m by selling, for human consumption, cattle slaughtered after testing positive for bovine tuberculosis (bTB).  Will MP Owen Paterson (Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs – opposite) and the Food Standards Agency be called into No 10 again about this?

The FSA approves this practice and products containing the meat are not labelled as such. At present, relatively few people, including DEFRA and FSA personnel, know where it is going – and one suspects their families are not eating these products.

gummer beefburgerDuring the government’s sorry handling of  BSE , John Gummer at least had the courage of his convictions, however mistaken. Will DEFRA and FSA personnel demonstrate their faith in this meat by consuming it regularly for a year?

The Farmers Weekly explains: “Where an inspection of a carcass reveals TB lesions in more than one organ or region it is declared unfit for human consumption and destroyed, but if the lymph nodes in one organ or part of the carcass are infected, that area is removed and the rest is considered safe to enter the food chain”.

Another government body, the Food Standards Agency, carries out the inspection process.

The raw meat, from around 28,000 diseased animals a year, is banned by most supermarkets and burger chains, but it is sold to some caterers and food processors who supply schools, hospitals and the military, or put the meat into pies and pasties.

DEFRA says the risk of infection is “extremely low” and sells the meat without anything to warn processors or consumers that it comes from bTB-infected cattle

The Food Standards Agency confirms there are no known cases of humans contracting TB from eating meat.

The medic wrote to a local firm, Ginsters:

Ginsters logo”I heard on the Today programme today that DEFRA are selling carcases for human consumption that have previously tested positive for TB. As a doctor, and the grandfather of three girls who eat Ginster’s products, I would like to be assured that your firm does not use such meat”.

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The reply from its head of marketing:

“Ginsters takes pride in the fact that we only purchase quality cuts of beef that we prepare ourselves in our on-site bakery. We are committed to sourcing ingredients as locally as possible and building long term partnerships with a small number of British farmers and suppliers who share our quality focus. Since this issue came to the fore, we have contacted all our beef suppliers to stress that at Ginsters we will not accept any meat from the carcasses of TB reactor cattle”.

Readers will come to their own conclusions – is The Times “scaremongering” as DEFRA claimed in The Grocer?
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Posted on July 7, 2013, in uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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