27 July 2001

Fishmeal ban soon?

FISHMEAL could soon be banned from pig and poultry rations – as well as ruminant rations – unless member states can prove they are abiding by European legislation.

Food safety commissioner David Byrne told farm ministers in Brussels fishmeal had only been exempted from a general ban on meat and bonemeal on the condition it was produced in isolation. Member states were supposed to report on these controls by the end of May, having completed tests showing there was no cross contamination.

"It disappoints me that, with the exception of Finland, these reports have not been received," said Mr Byrne. Reports should be submitted in time for the next Farm council meeting, expected in October. "The commission will have to reconsider the decision to authorise fishmeal unless we can be confident that the controls are being implemented."

Recent inspections by the EUs Food and Veterinary Office have indicated weaknesses in controls on fishmeal. Mr Byrnes intervention does little to instill confidence that the UK will be allowed to use fishmeal in ruminant rations. &#42