Food standards watchdogs on Monday warned the UK government that it should not delay the entry of border checks after the Brexit on food coming from the EU, citing the risk of safety incidents.
In their first Joint annual reviewThe Scottish Food and Drug Administration said the failure to set up high-risk food import controls from the EU had reduced Britain’s ability to prevent unsafe products from entering the country.
This follows warnings from agricultural groups, veterinarians and the meat industry that the delay in post-Brexit inspections was “Accident waiting to happen”.
Although there was no evidence that food import standards had dropped, FSA chairman Professor Susan Jeb said the risks to a safety incident were rising.
“Establishing full oversight of UK food imports by the end of next year from the EU is a top priority,” Jeb said. “The longer the UK operates without the assurance that EU products meet our high food and feed safety standards, the less confident we will be able to effectively identify potential safety incidents.”
Last month, the Financial Times revealed that the FSA had warned pig breeders against illegal shipments of “white pickup” of pork coming to the UK from Romania, which is battling an increasing outbreak of swine fever in its animals.
Jacob Reese-Mog, Minister of Opportunities for Brexit, announced in April that the British government would delay for the fourth time the full border controls on food products entering the EU. B DisclaimerThe government has said it will review the required level of border controls and will publish plans for a new control regime this autumn based on “on better risk assessment” using data and technology.
James Russell, senior vice president of the British Veterinary Association, said at the time that the “chicken face” move was committed to maintaining high levels of animal and human health.
Minette Batters, president of the National Farmers Association, also called the decision “amazing” and “unacceptable”, adding that border checks were “absolutely crucial to the state’s biological safety, animal health and food safety”.
B Interview with the Financial Times.Reese-Mog said postponing the tests until consulting the industry would save consumers £ 1 billion a year and mock some of the EU’s own stricter tests on food imports, claiming they would raise the price of fish fingers by 1 per cent.
Reese-Mog’s allies said they hoped physical border checks – without spot checks on animals – would never be necessary and that a new digital trading system should go into effect in 2024.
The FSA and FSS said in their report that the January introduction of New requirements For EU exporters to notify authorities of any high-risk food from a non-animal source and low-risk by-products brought to the UK will help them and local authorities respond to food safety incidents. They added that they have strengthened their tracking and capability, but “do not believe” that these measures were a sufficient substitute for strong import controls.
Stricter safety controls Applied to high-risk foods, live animals and animal by-products imported from non-EU countries, which must enter the UK through border inspection posts.
Neither the Cabinet Office nor the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
UK food standards bodies warn ministers over checks for EU imports Source link UK food standards bodies warn ministers over checks for EU imports