FSA chair urges work with us to find a solution

The chair of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) called on the meat sector to work together with the FSA and MHS to bring about transformation.

"Working in a co-operative way is much better than sitting in our own camps and throwing rocks at each other," Dame Deirdre Hutton told delegates to the BMPA conference, last week. "I don't think any of us believe it's the right regime, but there are things we can do within it."

She warned the industry not to expect rapid change in terms of regulation from Europe: "It's a difficult and slow process."

Despite evidence of change within the MHS, she admitted there was still some distance to go, but said she had staked her own credibility on resolving the situation. "I want to deliver what I said I would deliver."

The FSA's responsibility was to protect the interests of the consumer, and food safety is an important part of that, she said, but added that quality, price and choice were also important.

She said the meat industry needed to be able to follow the likes of the nuclear sector. "Most people would think the risks from nuclear power are enormous, but you don't have government inspectors in the plants. The nuclear industry has shown it can internalise that."

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