The support, voiced by McWhinney’s Sausages CEO Kevin McWhinney, comes only weeks after the ruling was labelled a “criminal waste of a valuable product” by the BMPA.
The production of cattle, sheep and goat-produced desinewed meat (DSM), which is manufactured using a low pressure technique to remove meat from animal bones, is prohibited by the EC decision.
Under the ruling, which will take affect from the end of May, DSM may still be produced from poultry and pig bones, but must be specifically labelled as Mechanically Separated Meat (MSM) on products and can no longer count towards meat content.
McWhinney told FoodProductionDaily.com that the “enormous implications” of the ruling, quoted by the BMPA, are “nonsense.”
“The BMPA are calling this a terrible waste of meat, and also saying that the industry needs more time to adapt to these changes,” said McWhinney.
“If you need to reformulate, you don’t need to change the product just remove it and replace it with meat. If it was meat, then what’s the difference?”
“It’s the biggest load of nonsense I’ve heard. I don’t just disagree with the BMPA, I strongly disagree! There are others out there like me and I want to voice their opinion too.”
The BMPA has warned of a significant impact on the UK meat industry as a result of the legislation, with the cost of reformulation and relabeling expected to reach £200m.
“The industry is worried about losing money and jobs. There are still going to be jobs, all the industry needs to do is replace DSM with meat,” he said.
Despite the ruling from Brussels, both the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the EC have reiterated that the eating cattle, sheep and goat DSM does not present a health risk.
“The FSA has said that there is no safety issue, there isn’t anything wrong with it. This product isn’t going to make you ill, it is meat, it is just an unsavoury product,” McWhinney added.
“Their public has no idea what is in their food. I think it is your God-given right to be told what is in your food.”
Similar concerns surrounding the use of lean finely textured beef (LFTB) – now commonly known as ‘pink slime’ - in US beef products led to the decision by several major retailers to end their purchase of products containing the filler.
The retail sector decision resulted in severe implications for the meat industry including plant closures and bankruptcy.
McWhinney is not, however, urging similar pressure on the industry.
“I’m not proposing that they completely ban this product, nothing like that. If someone chooses to eat meat products containing this DSM, that’s their choice.”
“As long as the public can clearly see it labelled on the product, I’m happy. People should know what they’re eating,” he concluded.