Realism needed on meat inspection

Meat leaders are calling for a greater degree of proportionality when it comes to meat inspection, ahead of an industry summit this week.

Meat leaders are calling for a greater degree of proportionality when it comes to meat inspection, ahead of an industry summit next week.

Speaking before the seminar on meat inspection modernisation in Lyon, France, organised by the French ministry of agriculture, Stuart Roberts, director of the British Meat Processors Association, called for a more realistic approach. "We hear too much about proportionality without actually seeing it delivered on the ground," he said. "For example, if you look at the recent EU BSE statistics, it is staggering to know that we, the European industry and taxpayers, paid for 8,267,207 BSE tests to be taken from human consumption animals aged over 30 months of age, of which just 45 tested positive."

He said the seminar should focus on ensuring regulations do not follow a "one-size-fits-all" policy. Instead, the policy should allow for any inspection system to be tailored to the individual risk, not the risk associated with the highest-risk operator, he added.

Roberts said he was pleased that the French government was holding the seminar. "I am very much looking forward to what I hope will be a radical discussion," he said. "It is vital that the

seminar starts with a clean sheet of paper and designs a regulatory regime that is both risk- and evidence-based, not based on historic rules."

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