Meat industry contacts Prime Minister over FSA bias concern

The British meat industry has combined forces to voice their concerns about Food Standards Agency (FSA) bias against the sector. 

The National Sheep Association, Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, British Meat Processors Association, British Poultry Council, and the National Federation of Meat & Food Traders have written to the Prime Minister to highlight what they feel is “unwarranted bias” against the meat industry.

The FSA was recently slammed by the industry for promoting #meatfreeweek on its social media channels. The FSA deleted the tweet in response to online complaints and said “it doesn’t properly reflect our position”.

In a statement, the five trade bodies said: “British meat producers are concerned that the Food Standards Agency is showing unwarranted bias against our sector that crosses the line of impartiality we expect of our regulators. The FSA’s recent show of promotion on social media for reducing meat consumption is its latest foray into this political agenda outside of its remit.

“We need our regulators to be unbiased and firm in enforcing the law, to challenge us to improve and refine practices, and to help change laws that have become outdated or have been overtaken by science and technology.

“In these matters the FSA has our full and vocal support. However, we are worried that personal and political interests are threatening consistent regulatory efforts.”

Commenting on the issue, a FSA spokesperson said:

“We reject any suggestion that the FSA is biased against the meat industry. The FSA works closely and productively with meat businesses every day across the country. We also regularly run national campaigns promoting safe ways to enjoy meat.

“The FSA’s sole remit is to put consumers first. Of course this means making sure everyone understands their responsibilities for food being safe and what it says it is. It also means we provide information and advice to consumers, not only in relation to food safety but other food-related issues. Our current strategic plan reinforces this commitment to help people make informed choices about what they eat. It also acknowledges the growing challenges around access to a healthy diet, now and in the future, which is in line with wider Government advice in this area.”

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