Lib Dem MP stages food fraud debate

A Liberal Democratic MP has held a debate in the main chamber after the release of the Elliott Review last week, concluding the government must ensure consumer confidence in the food supply chain is a priority.

Commenting on the debate on 8 September 2014, Roger Williams, Liberal Democrat MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, highlighted how consumer confidence in the food industry was low, with only 56% of people now confident the food they buy is what it claims to be.

He said: “It is only right that the Secretary of State has accepted the findings in the Elliott Review. It is essential that the government implements all of the recommendations as quickly as possible, so that consumers can be confident in the food products they buy.”

A poll conducted by Populus, on behalf of Which? after the publication of the report, showed that more than half (55%) of people are worried that a food fraud incident will happen again, and that a quarter (23%) say they have changed the type of meat products they buy because they are worried about food fraud.

However, despite Elliott’s recommendation to set up a food crime unit, Williams questioned how the government would ensure consumers were put first.

“Rightly so, Professor Elliott mentions that the needs of consumers in relation to food safety are the top priority. With the horsemeat scandal we saw criminals putting profit before the consumer,” he said, adding: “Although the government’s response says it recognises that the consumers must be put first if we want to restore trust in our food industry, there is no concrete mention of how they would go about implementing this. I urge the government to state how they will ensure this. We must do everything in our power to make sure we do not end up with another ‘horsegate’.”


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