UNISON highlighted the recent horse
meat scandals caused by cuts to the Food
Standards Agency, as Congress backed
UNISON’s call for the FSA to be
properly resourced to maintain quality
in the food chain.
The STUC will demand
the return of a much more robust inspection
will incorporate the principles of UNISON’s
Food for Good Charter. If a Scottish
Government consultation results in a
devolved Food Standards Agency, this
should incorporate all these principles.
the emergency motion, Ewing Hope told
Conference that despite all the
jokes, the recent food scandals were
no laughing matter.
“What these show is a serious shortcoming
in the regulation regimes which are supposed
to ensure that the food we and our families
eat is safe, uncontaminated and is what
it says on the packet.
“What angers me most is the Government
and their advisors telling us that there
is nothing to worry about, that horse
meat isn’t dangerous and is safe
to eat. Do they think that the criminals
who stand to make a fortune by passing
horse meat costing £20 a ton as
prime beef which costs thousands a time
are going to adhere to strict food hygiene
procedures as laid down in law that should
be policed by a meat hygiene inspector?” asked
“Do we really think that these
criminals will ensure that there is no
their illegal meat being contaminated
by food poisoning bacteria?”
pointed to the “coincidence” that
as the scandal broke we saw some of the
highest levels of diarrhoea and vomiting,
most of which was undiagnosed.
laid the scandal at the door of the Tory
led UK government who dismembered
the Food Standards Agency in favour of
the” light touch” regulation
preferred by the supermarkets, leaving
it incapable of protecting public health.
Referring to UNISON’s research
he told Congress that the numbers of
meat inspectors in Scotland have fallen
by 50%; samples taken by Scottish Local
Authorities have fallen from over 16.000
in 2009 to just over 10,000 three years
later; with specialist food safety inspectors
reducing by 21% and environmental health
officers by 11%.
UNISON has relaunched
for Good” Charter calling for sustainable,
locally sourced food, and Ewing called
for these principles to be introduced
into all school meals and hospital food.
18 April 2013