13th June 2000


<p>With salmonella poisoning rising in Northern Ireland while falling in the rest of the UK, the debate about genetically modified food intensifying, and concern over food allergies increasing, the General Consumer Council has called for urgent action to protect the public.</p>

The Council’s Food Manifesto, published today as part of National Food Safety Week, demands: better and more informative food labelling, stricter controls on new technologies like genetic modification greater efforts to eliminate salmonella in eggs and poultry. Chairman of the Council, Joan Whiteside, said: “Food should be safe when we buy it. We want to see the highest possible safety and quality standards being applied throughout the whole food chain. We also need better and more informative labelling to help us make the right choices about what we are eating and about the safe storage and use of food. ” Other food safety measures the Council has called for include; Tighter restrictions on the use of antibiotics in farming including a ban on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters. A campaign to raise awareness of good food hygiene practice in the home. Greater openness and transparency in food policy making including better communication between policy makers and consumers. Better co-ordination of food and health policies including greater recognition for the problems of food poverty and health inequalities. A reduction in the use of agri-chemicals in food production and closer monitoring of their impact on public health and the environment. ENDS Notes to Editors For further information contact Sam Miskelly on 9067 2488. Previous press releases from the Council on food issues can be found on the Council’s website