Meat inspection law changes 'could take years'

Modernisation of the meat inspection regulations could take years, according to a leading expert.

Speaking to delegates at the BMPA annual conference, Flemming Thune-Stephensen, chief advisor to DVM, the Danish Agricultural and Food Council, said a move to risk-based inspection was unlikely to happen any time soon. "It will take years, no doubt about that," he said.

Any such shift faced strong resistance from a number of areas, he told the conference, including consumers, the European Parlia-ment and some within industry as well. "So we will have to convince a lot of people before it will be approved and adopted."

He said the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is carrying out risk assessments of meat inspections and is expected to give answers on pork by June 2011 and on other species by December 2011. "After that, the answers from EFSA have to be dealt with within the EC, among stakeholders and so on. And after that the EC will probably come up with a plan."

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