A Challenge to the Food Standards Agency to go Meat-Free and Dairy-Free. The Food Standards Agency Must Face the Unequivocal Challenges from Farm to Fork. Producers, Retailers, Consumers, Corporate Purchasers and Procurement Agencies need Example and Initiatives for Wholesome Practice, Choices, and Commitment. We Urge the FSA to Lead with National Eco-Friendly Fridays with Meat-Free and Dairy-Free Fare.

1. “Eat less meat and dairy” is now the unequivocal call of experts in the fields of economics, environment, and health. It summons up special responsibilities over standards and practice and lifestyles for consumers and the Food Standards Agency. 2. It comes as the Meat and Livestock Commission comes to a timely end. “There are massive challenges facing our meat and livestock sectors”, according to Peter Barr, chairman of the just-disbanded MLC.

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“The environment and meat consumption are 2 subjects rapidly becoming intertwined in people’s minds”, the editor states (MIJ 15 February 2008). “In the past few weeks I’ve lost count of the number of conversations I’ve had on the topic – not to mention the number of press releases and events dedicated to these issues, which are growing all the time” he adds.

He complained: “In one day alone I went from the Meat and Livestock Outlook conference, in which the meat industry was told the developed world need to reduce its consumption or risk environmental catastrophe, to the City Food Lecture, in which Lord Haskins highlighted meat consumption as a problem and urged everyone to eat less”.

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We are distributing distinctive and practical dairy-free labels to meet the rapidly increasing demand for dairy-free alternatives.

See Dairy-Free Labels for more information.

Under the new rules, food manufacturers must identify the content of the veggie food according to five categories on the outside of the food package.

The five categories are:
• pure veggie
• milk veggie
• egg veggie
• egg/milk veggie
• plant veggie

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Britain’s mayors in major cities like to impress their subjects with experts from the USA they have imported to advise us on various aspects of social and commercial services. There is nowhere more relevant at the moment than London (England), where we most warn the burghers to shun any advice that Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago may proffer.

Frank Sinatra’s home town may have various delights but kindly attitudes in animal welfare are not among them, if the metropolis’s fleshpots (or fatpots) are anything to go by. Chicago’s city council has just reversed a ban passed with a single dissenting voice in April 2006 on restaurants serving pate foie gras. The aldermen have now lifted the ban 37 to 6.

The city has issued a few warnings to restaurants flouting the ban and one defiant eatery was fined. Mayor Daley had called the ban “the silliest ordinance” the city council had ever passed and said it made Chicago “the laughing stock of the nation”. Such ridicule hasn’t daunted California, where a law was passed that will end production and sale of foie gras in the state by 2012. Similar laws have been proposed in a few other states.

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Forecasts estimate losses to the industry of £200 million this year. The British breeding herd is now, at a level of 436,000 sows, at half of what it was a decade ago. BPEX, the British Pig Executive, which was formed out of the Meat and Livestock Commission, warns of a further decline of 10% this year and forecasts losses to farmers of £22 per animal. BPEX bemoans the rising costs of wheat, corn (maize), and soya meal. “Many are pulling out of pig-rearing altogether” reports the Times (UK Business 26 April 2008).

“It’s a capital-intensive business. In order to stay in you need to invest. In the first 3 months of the year there has been a 35% increase in the number of breeding sows sent to slaughter,” states Mick Sloyan of BPEX. Farmers are killing breeding stock to reduce the costs of feeding sows and piglets.

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Other news items:

  1. Genes and the UK’s Fatties
  2. NMES Spells Dire Consequences for Scottish Children
  3. Restocking Britain’s Waterways with Funny Fish
  4. Eirlys Rhiwen Cadwaladr Roberts
  5. Trading Standards Officers Withhold “Huge” Fines on Meat Trade
  6. Subsidizing the Meat Industry and its Dirty Deeds

VEGA comments on consultations:







Hon. Research Adviser:
Dr Alan Long

Dr Conrad Latto

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