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No need for different standards in FSA review

Any suggestion that the current review of the Food Standards Agency in Scotland could lead to differing forms of safety and labelling between Scotland and England are completely without foundation says the Scottish Association of Meat Wholesalers (SAMW).

“Raising fears about safety and labelling issues distorts what the review is actually about,” said Alan Craig, SAMW president.

“In July this year, we welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to review FSA as a step which could give our industry efficient and cost-effective meat inspection, releasing member companies from a system which has become over-burdened by administrative costs and unacceptably high overheads. To even suggest that safety and labelling differences could be introduced as part of this process, therefore, merely serves to deflect attention from the industry’s core concerns over FSA’s inefficiencies.

“The truth in relation to safety and labelling is that our members will be looking to maintain standards as they are as a result of this review, a point which we have made several times in previous comments on this issue.

“SAMW is also well aware of the need for unity and common standards across country borders.  Our member businesses have a combined turnover in excess of £1 billion.  This is based on trade throughout the UK and Europe.  There is no way we would ever wish to complicate this trade.

“All we want is a meat inspection system which is well managed, efficient and correctly costed.  It’s not the safety and labelling standards which need to be changed, therefore, but the method of delivering those standards to our industry.”