FARMERS for Action (FFA) has called for an urgent meeting with the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland and Farm Minister Michelle O’Neill to discuss the ‘horsemeat in beef burgers’ situation.
FFA’s William Taylor told Farming Life that the Food Standards Agency has, to date, refused to meet representatives from his organisation.
“It seems that Agency staff take it for granted that they can hide behind their website information,” he added.
“Local consumers can be assured that FFA intends to make it clear to the Food Standards Agency that anything less than unannounced random monthly tests in Northern Ireland’s large supermarket chains will no longer be acceptable.”
The FFA representative went on to say that there is no point in taxpayers and levy payers supporting an agency that is, in effect, asleep at the wheel.
FFA’s Sean McAuley stated: “All of this points to the relentless profit driven price pressure being passed down the line by the large food retailers. This, in turn, is driving processors to supply large orders while, at the same time, making profit.
“It is obvious that the Minister of Agriculture needs to stamp her authority on the abattoirs, as far as her remit allows, after which the Food Standards Agency must inspect, abattoirs and finished products on a random basis.
“Meanwhile, consumers should remember that if they have any doubts about purchasing meat products in Northern Ireland, until this situation is cleared up, then their local family owned supermarket and local butcher remain the option of choice.”