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EH Briefing

25th March 2011

Mechanically-separted meat

Plans by the Commission to issue guidance on the legal definition of mechanically separated meat (MSM) to possibly include de-sinewed meat (DSM) products currently considered as meat preparations in the UK are being contested by the Government and the House of Commons EU scrutiny committee. The commission plans to issue guidance that may include de-sinewed meat (DSM) products. This could lead to some DSM products being banned under transmissible spongiform encephalopathies rules and others becoming less economically valuable. The committee is refusing to approve the proposals until it has more information. The commission claims the food safety risk from MSM is negligible. However, consumer organisations say they want all types of MSM clearly labelled.
COM (2010) 704.

Commons European Scrutiny Committee.
18th Report.


Health and safety laws ‘have wider benefits’

A report on the costs and benefits of EU health and safety legislation, commissioned by the European Parliament, says more account should be taken of the intangible benefits of compliance such as improved company reputation. Previous studies have concentrated on the financial costs of accidents and illness. The report says intangible benefits, while equally important, are often not appreciated by businesses. It notes that a lack of awareness and expertise is often a greater barrier to compliance for small and medium sized firms than a lack of time or financial resources. It also notes that EU proposals to cut administrative costs, including safety regulations, look only at the cost aspect of regulation, not the benefits.
PE 447.512.


Game slaughter rules amended

Changes to the law on the certification of game animals at their place of origin rather than at a slaughterhouse will allow appropriately qualified food business operators, rather than official veterinarians, to undertake certification. They will also allow large game animals to be certified in batches rather than individually. The rules on the production of game trophies from carcase heads have been amended in the case of animals subject to Trichinella.
OJ. L46. 19.02.11.