Lobby your MEPs to protect our food

While Members of the European Parliament (MEP) were on their summer recess, the clock was ticking to overturn changes to European regulations that offer weakened protection for consumers.

Pigs which are slaughtered for human consumption are currently inspected for diseases and contaminants such as tuberculosis, abscesses and faecal contamination before being allowed into our sausages and pork pies.

UNISON national officer Paul Bell said: “We have a small window of opportunity to overturn a European Commission decision to stop physical inspection of pigs destined for the supermarkets and the butchers. If the European Union moves to visual-only inspection, then the people who check our food to make sure it is fit for human consumption – meat inspectors – will have their hands tied.”
“An industry which earlier this year was labelling horsemeat as beef, cannot be trusted to act in the best interests of consumers. Only independent meat inspectors and vets working in abattoirs can judge that there are no unpleasant surprises lurking to add extra flavour to mince, pies and sausages – by looking inside the animal carcass. After all, if you stop looking for it, you stop finding it and then start eating it.”

UNISON assistant general secretary Karen Jennings said: “This is so important to us and also to the public who don’t trust the food industry and will want pork meat in particular thoroughly tested.”

UNISON is urging its members to get in contact with non-Conservative MEPs – the people who represent you in Europe – before 6 October to ask that they overturn visual-only inspection at a vote of the European Parliament.

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Keeping meat inspection public and safe