26 October 1999
MBM-fed meat on UK shop shelves
By FWi staff
PIG bones, banned from use in feed in the UK since the BSE crisis, are fed to pigs and chickens on the Continent – which end up on British supermarket shelves.
The banned bones are exported from the UK to Europe, where they are made into bonemeal and fed to Continental stock, reports Radio 4s Farming Today programme.
This comes after it was revealed French farmers fed human sewage and animal body parts to livestock.
In light of the new information, food safety expert Professor Hugh Pennington said: “One really does have to be concerned about this apparent loophole in the system.
“Were recycling material, and I suppose the background to that is BSE.
“Weve been bending over backwards to make certain we dont run into any more risks like the ones we ran into in the past with such disastrous consequences.”
Professor Pennington said self-regulation was the key to modern food safety, but had its drawbacks.
“The flaw in the self-regulation system is that we have to trust other people outside of this country who may not have such a good system guaranteeing high standards.”
John Riddell, chairman of the NFU poultrymeat committee, said: “As a British farmer Im told I cannot use this as its illegal. I have to obey the rules.
“However, the consumer doesnt know what they are buying off the shelf, whether Ive grown it, and its meat-and-bonemeal-free, or if its grown by someone else whos perfectly free to use these products.
Yesterday, after a day of conflicting signals, the government decided not to ban French meat after scientific advisors said it was safe to eat.