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October 6, 2006

EU: UK rejects EC’s criticism of dairy hygiene – update

The UK has disputed the legitimacy of the European Commission’s proposal to take safeguard measures against a UK dairy due to alleged serious breaches of European Union food safety rules.

The UK has disputed the legitimacy of the European Commission’s proposal to take safeguard measures against a UK dairy due to alleged serious breaches of European Union food safety rules.

At the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCaH) today (6 October), where the proposals were approved, the UK abstained from the vote and issued a statement drafted by the Food Standards Agency.

“We would emphasise, most strongly, that we take these matters very seriously, and that we have taken a number of corrective measures at this company since the FVO first reported on procedures in June,” the FSA said.

However, the FSA added that it disagrees with the assessment of the EC with regards to tests to identify antibiotics in milk. “It is important for the Food Standards Agency to act on a sound evidence base and, in protecting the consumer, to be proportionate in what we do. In this case, there are genuine differences of views on the science behind the testing for antibiotics in milk and these have not yet been resolved,” the UK agency said.

“We were unable to support the Commission’s proposed measure at this stage,” the FSA concluded.

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