HC Deb 04 April 2001 vol 366 cc231-2W
Mr. Yeo

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to the statement by the Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, the right hon. Member for Gateshead, East and Washington, West (Ms Quin) of 21 December 2000,Official Report, column 558, if he will publish the evidence on which the Minister based her claim that over-30-month beef is not used in processed products sold in Britain. [146430]

Ms Stuart

[holding answer 22 January 2001]: My right hon. Friend did not claim that, but referred to signs from manufacturers and retailers that they were using beef from cattle that were not over 30-months-old at slaughter. This information had been obtained by the Food Standards Agency and by local authorities in connection with increased enforcement checks on compliance with the generally applicable ban on the sale for human consumption of beef from cattle aged over-30-months at slaughter (the OTM rule). The Meat Hygiene Service and local authorities were required to carry out those checks by the FSA from last November. High levels of compliance were found and some companies changed their procurement arrangements to ensure that appropriate supplier documentation confirmed compliance with the OTM rule.