Ritchie hits out at ‘inaction’ on disinewed meat ban

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Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie, who sits on the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee, has backed the committee’s report that claims that the European Commission moratorium on desinewed meat is “heavy-handed and disproportionate”. Speaking following the release of the report Ms Ritchie stated: “As there is no scientific basis for the EC ban and as it goes against the advice of the Food Standards Agency I am calling for it to be overturned immediately. The lack of anticipation of this situation and the inadequate response of the UK government and Ministers in Northern Ireland has been especially worrying. “This moratorium will put extreme pressure on local producers and is likely to increase prices for consumers, therefore local Ministers need to be working in parallel with the UK government to have this ban overturned.” Ritchie insists there has been a complete lack of co-ordination, information sharing and action on the issue. She continued, “Michelle O’ Neill, the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, did not even raise the matter in a recent meeting with the Secretary of State. It is our local food producers that we need to be supporting in these difficult economic times, who will be left facing the consequences of this overzealous EC ruling and poor government response.” “Our local producers will face competition with producers from the rest of Ireland where no such ban is in force. The moratorium needs to be lifted as it is vital that producers across the whole of Ireland are not subject to this senseless measure.”
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