Horse Meat Scandal: Regulate & Re-localise Our Food Supply Chain


burger-king-horse-meat-300x173THE GREEN Party has criticised the inadequate regulation of our food industry, and called for the re-localisation of the supply chain to support farmers and improve traceability.

The call comes amid growing concerns over the potential health risks associated with the horse meat scandal, after Anne McIntosh MP, Chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, advised the public to buy their produce locally, and supported a temporary ban on meat imports.

Caroline Allen, Green Party spokesperson, said: “With the news that Burger King is now admitting that horse meat made its way into their burgers, it’s time to reflect on the real problem here. This is a wake up call about our whole food supply chain.”

“Poor traceability, the search for cheaper and cheaper ingredients, large suppliers and distant producers mean that increasingly, we just can’t be sure what we are actually eating.

“Given the multiple crises affecting our food supply chain it is not surprising that cheap filler ingredients make their way onto supermarket shelves.

“The relentless rise of food prices – including feed price for animals – means that processors will have to be increasingly inventive to continue to provide the cheap food the supermarkets require. Meanwhile, increasingly unpredictable weather patterns mean that recent price rises are probably the beginning of a long-term trend.

“At the same time massive cuts at the Food Standards Agency have left it hardly able to provide its most basic duties regarding food safety and traceability. The work they carried out on issues such as food labelling and nutrition has all but ceased, at a time when it is most desperately needed.”

The Green Party believes that globalisation of the food supply has exacerbated many environmental and social problems and that answers lie in sustainable agriculture, re-localisation, shortening of food supply chains and self-reliance on a regional and local basis.

Ms. Allen said: “With inadequate policing of this massive industry these scandals will continue. It is surely time for a regulator of the supermarkets and food processors with real powers, a well funded body properly monitoring what is being placed in processed food.”

“But more importantly, we need to re-localise the food chain; reducing waste, improving traceability, supporting our farmers, and creating a system of food production with resilience in face of the challenges of a changing climate.”

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