Food
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08th May 2000

CONSUMERS TO LOSE OUT FROM LOW INCIDENCE BSE STATUS FOR NI BEEF

<p>The General Consumer Council is concerned that the designation of NI as having low incidence BSE status for its beef could remove more than a hundred popular products from supermarket shelves.</p>

If the EU agree to the proposal beef products made in Britain could be barred from NI. The beef-based products are likely to include ready-prepared meals such as lasagne, steak and kidney pies and possibly some pet food. Calling for a full and informed public debate before any final decision is taken, Joan Whiteside, the Consumer Council Chairman, said: “The implications of any change in status must be carefully thought through. Possibly over 100 beef-based products might have to be withdrawn from NI shops. Not only is this a serious reduction in consumer choice but it could lead to a rise in the price of other products.“ The Council is not opposed to measures aimed at helping the NI beef industry. But so far hardly any attention has been paid to the disadvantages. The implications of what it will mean for consumers, producers, and the meat industry as a whole should be fully debated. ENDS For further information contact: Sam Miskelly at 028 9067 4288 [work].

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