Letter: Beef and science
Tuesday 16 November 1999
The EU scientific committee later confirmed their confidence in the measures adopted to enable British beef to regain its European markets. The French food standards agency then, predictably, questioned the scientific competence of the EU committee to judge on the matter. This situation, from a UK standpoint, has been overseen by our Minister of Agriculture.
The UK has only itself to blame. What has become of the Food Standards Agency, still to get off the ground years after it was first proposed? Had that been up and running it would now be at the sharp end, sorting out these scientific quibbles with the French food safety agency.
When will the Ministry of Agriculture be forced to give up its dual wartime role of trying to represent both producers and consumers? Is it necessary any longer for the farming industry to have Cabinet representation?
It is time for a Ministry of Rural Development to represent all rural interests, including agriculture, and an independent Food Standards Agency able to represent the consumer's interests in safety, healthy eating, confidence and value for money. There should be monitoring of supermarkets to ensure that the customer benefits from competition, but not at the expense of UK producers.
Rather than arguing whether or not UK beef is safe to eat on the bone, or off, let's get UK beef prices down and on to the plate of those who have every confidence eating it. There would then be not enough to sell to France, but we might still put some prime beef aside, for our special customers.
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby of them all could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 2 Ben Affleck asked TV chiefs to hide slave-owning ancestry, new hacked Sony emails published by Wikileaks claim
- 3 Driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as drink driving, study suggests
- 4 Farmer told to tear down mock-Tudor castle after hiding construction behind hay bales
- 5 One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
One Direction: Louis Tomlinson launching his own record label, has already 'signed two acts'
Tidal CEO leaves Jay Z's music streaming service only a month after it launched
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens: Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill admits he was suspicious of 'Star Trek guy' JJ Abrams
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate