Meat and bone meal: where politics meets consumer perception

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13 October 2010

It’s an area where science, the precautionary principle and politics meet consumer sensitivities: news that the European Commission is to revisit the total ban on the feeding of meat and bone meal (MBM) has unsurprisingly caught press interest.

Burges Salmon’s food and farming team, led by partner William Neville, have worked extensively in the area of TSE (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) regulations, both during the BSE crisis and subsequently in relation to animal feed ingredients’ compliance and the consequences of non compliance. The proposals are part of the EC’s TSE Roadmap 2, published in July 2010, a strategy paper detailing ways in which BSE risk in the EU is to be managed in the next five years.

“BSE and the feeding of MBM has been and remains a highly sensitive issue not just for farmers but also for feed processors and the general public,” says William Neville. “While there are currently no plans to lift the ban on MBM for ruminants, any suggestion of a relaxation in the rules on feeding animals to animals will inevitably bring close public and media scrutiny.

“Beyond the issue of ensuring feed ingredient compliance subsequent to any changes to the legislation, there are also potentially issues surrounding consumer reaction and product acceptance. Burges Salmon has an established team of experts within this highly sensitive field able to offer clients advice and guidance as required.”

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