BMPA counters BBC’s DSM claims

Industry leaders have hit back at a report by the BBC that European companies are using a loophole in the law to supply banned desinewed meat (DSM) to UK sausage manufacturers.

The BBC said it had emails indicating that European companies were producing desinewed meat under different names, including "Baader meat" and "3mm mince", and supplying it to UK manufacturers to be used as part of the meat content of sausages and other foods. This would breach European and UK rules on DSM, which state that it can be used in meat products, but cannot be considered part of the meat content.

However, British Meat Processors Association (BMPA) director Stephen Rossides said: "Material derived from pig and poultry bones, derived by mechanical means – something referred to as Baader and 3mm – is legal to use, provided it is labelled as ‘mechanically separated meat’ (MSM) and does not count towards the meat content. The BMPA has no evidence that this material has been used unlawfully."

The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a moratorium on DSM last April, banning the production of DSM from cattle, goat and sheep bones and reclassifying DSM produced from non-ruminant bones as MSM. This means that DSM-derived ruminant pig or poultry bones is legal, but cannot be counted towards meat content and must be labelled as MSM.

The UK meat industry criticised the Food Standards Agency for introducing the ban, arguing that DSM is superior in quality to MSM. However, the FSA was acting on orders from the European Commission, which does not distinguish between meat recovered at low or high pressures.


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