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From: TSS ()
Subject: UK MEAT INSPECTORS CHARGE FRAUD IN BSE TESTING
Date: December 5, 2006 at 1:25 pm PST

UK MEAT INSPECTORS CHARGE FRAUD IN BSE TESTING


Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Volume 8, Issue 233

Brain stem samples from cows less than 30 months old are being substituted for brains from much older cattle, resulting in widespread fraud in BSE testing throughout British slaughterhouses, according to Unison, the meat inspectors union.

Unison spokeswoman Mary Maguire said the union had reported instances of brain substitution long before the recent case in Northern Ireland, where laboratory workers found that brains submitted for BSE testing had not come from cattle slaughtered on the production line (see FCN Nov. 27, Page 10).

Maguire declined to name plants where brain samples had been swapped, explaining that meat inspectors live in fear of retaliation. She said Unison had given the names to the UK Food Standards Agency, which had recommended BSE testing to replace the Over Thirty Month rule, which kept older animals out of the food chain. However, an FSA spokesperson denied that Unison had provided names of plants.

Maguire insisted that the FSA had been informed of violations, with copies to agriculture minister Ben Bradshaw. Bradshaw's press spokesperson denied that the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs had the names of any plants suspected of any fraud. She said Bradshaw had asked Unison for information concerning the allegations, adding that the European Commission is interested as well.

The Meat Hygiene Service is calling on Unison to name names so that the allegations can be investigated. A spokesman said the agency's director of operations had written to Unison saying that if it had evidence, it should be provided.

http://www.foodchemicalnews.com/ejournals/articles/article_synopsis.asp?id=96114

TSS






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