Click to contact us or call 02476 353537

NFU disappointed over PAP advice


A decision by the Food Standards Authority (FSA) to advise the Government not to lift a ban on the use of processed animal protein (PAP) in non-ruminant feed will be challenged, the NFU said today.

NFU President Peter Kendall has written to Agriculture Minister Jim Paice to raise a number of concerns over how board members reached their decision – ignoring scientific evidence and appearing to have no understanding of the reason behind proposed changes to PAP rules.

Mr Kendall has also requested an urgent meeting with the board in a bid to explain how this decision could have a detrimental effect on the poultry industry in this country.

In the letter, Mr Kendall states: The board did not discuss at any point during the meeting the rationale behind the proposal. It would have been beneficial to have put the proposed amendments to the feed ban into context at the beginning of the discussion. These were outlined in section nine of the report produced by Alison Gleadle and talked about the use of PAP as a sustainable source of high quality protein for animal feed which could be used to address the EU protein deficit and to reduce reliance on imported soya.

It was worrying that during the meeting, board members stated they didnt understand the background to the proposed amendment to the regulation. Therefore I feel that consumers watching these proceedings were not provided with a balanced overview of the issue and were led to believe that the science and enforcement surrounding it could not be relied upon.

I was extremely concerned that the board seemed to ignore the scientific evidence and advice of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and appeared to be influenced by consumer opinion surrounding this issue. A general mistrust of science or distaste about animal protein feed by board members or consumers must not over-ride the science and risk-based approach the agency claims to take in all matters.

During the meeting, board members questioned aspects of the EFSA opinion on processed animal protein. I am concerned that the board is not sufficiently aware of the process by which such opinions are derived. It is very important that board members can trust the panel of independent experts and the rigour of the science that is considered in writing EFSA opinions.

It is right that the board rigorously debates the issues but if it has reservations on the EFSA opinion, these must be addressed to EFSA with no recommendations made by the board until it has the full scientific information. If the agency considers there to be substantive gaps in the science, a situation that was not in fact described in Alison Gleadles paper, it should ensure the necessary research is carried out to fill them.

The Government will now consider the evidence and views expressed and decide on the UK position on the proposal to relax the current ban on feeding PAP.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * great opportunity to promote your business to our dedicated readership of farmers, landowners, estate managers and associated agricultural professionals.
Contact us today on 02476 353537 and let's work together to drive your business forward.