1. ITV Report

Food testing not up to scratch, says north Yorkshire MP

Anne McIntosh MP Photo:

One of our region's MPs says food testing is failing consumers.

Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey and Chairman of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee has today published a report into the horse meat scandal.

Some products labelled as beef were recently found to contain various amounts of horse meat. The Dalepak factory in North Yorkshire is one of the factories being investigated by the Food Standards Agency.

The Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in Todmorden West Yorkshire was also shut down amidst claims it's been supplying horse carcasses.

Ms McIntosh says there need to be clearer powers for the FSA so it can respond more effectively to another "scandal".

She said: “The scale of contamination emerging in the meat supply chain is breath-taking. More revelations will doubtless come to light in the UK and across the EU.

“There is every indication that horsemeat has been intentionally substituted for beef by criminals with access to the food industry. Elements within the food industry have duped consumers in the UK and across Europe in pursuit of profit.

“The Government must ensure effective traceability requirements in respect of the sale and marketing of processed foods originating from EU Member States (including the UK).

“Retailers have responsibilities to ensure UK consumers get food that is labelled accurately and provides sufficient information to make informed decisions about their purchases.

“Restoring customer confidence will take time and money. The Government has a role to secure the correct balance between affordable food prices and effective regulations that require transparency and quality.

“The consumer cannot be left to face a catch 22 where they can either pay for food that complies with the highest standards of traceability, labelling and testing or accept that they cannot trust the provenance and composition of the foods they eat.”

The Committee she led recommended the FSA be given the statutory power to require testing by producers, and it must be reported to the FSA whether they are mandated by the FSA or carried out independently.

The Peter Boddy factory in Todmorden