Defra launches consultation on English meat regulation

A new Defra consultation is seeking views on whether England should retain national legislation to uphold the quality of its meat products when new EU food laws come into effect at the end of the year.

Business and consumer groups, enforcement authorities and members of the general public will give their views on the government’s plans to replace Meat Products (England) Regulations 2003 (MPR 2003) with Meat Products (England) Regulations 2014 (MPR 2014), which would retain important consumer protection measures, while bringing the regulations into line with European legislation.

Current English rules state that products such as burgers, sausages and meat pies must contain minimum meat amounts to be made and sold in England. Other regulations unique to the UK include ensuring that feet, lungs and other types of offal are not in any uncooked English meat products.

Stephen Rossides, chief executive of the British Meat Processors Association (BMPA), said: "The UK has some specific national provisions that ensure the quality and integrity of meat products in this country. The BMPA is very keen to retain these, and we urge individual companies to participate in this consultation exercise."

The aim of the MPR 2014 is to ensure that meat products produced in England meet certain ingredients criteria when EU regulations come into force.

A Defra spokesperson said; "The British meat industry has one of the best reputations in the world for the quality of its products. We want to ensure these standards continue to be upheld when new EU food laws come into effect next winter."

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