News update:Apr 9, 2008

Warning against US poultry imports into EU

It has been warned that allowing US poultry imports into the EU will undermine the efforts of EU businesses producing high quality chicken.

Following reports of an opinion by the EU's Food Safety Authority
(EFSA) on the possible effect that four antimicrobial treatment substances would have on the emergence of antimicrobial resistance when used in the treatment of poultry meat, EU poultry producers and their cooperatives at COPA-COGECA are warning that the authorisation of such practises would undermine their efforts to produce high quality poultry
In the EU, poultry producers comply with highly demanding and costly rules to control salmonella on the farm, according to Pekka Pesonen, secretary general of COPA-COGECA. However, it is reported that US on-farm requirements are very limited and the meat is treated with chemicals like chlorine dioxide in slaughterhouses to reduce the presence of salmonella. Such poultry meat has not been allowed to enter the European market.
However, American producers are requesting that the EU authorise this kind of practice so as to sell their meat in Europe.
"Just because the Americans want it, are we supposed to accept meat produced according to lower standards? Are we supposed to put our philosophy of on-farm salmonella control behind us and allow chemically-treated meat to be sold to consumers while there are still 'uncertainties' over the possible occurrence of acquired reduced susceptibility to biocides and resistance to antibiotics?"
Pesonen further states that the Commission should be consistent and support the European way of producing poultry meat, and not to permit meat into the EU that does not comply with the same standards as EU producers are expected to adhere to.
Related links:
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

Editor WorldPoultry

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