Last updated on 16 October 2012
Government response to EFRA committee on DSM
The Government has today responded to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report on ‘desinewed meat’ (DSM).
DSM was produced using a low pressure technique to remove meat from animal bones. The product closely resembled minced meat.
In March 2012, following an audit mission to the UK, the European Commission demanded that UK production of DSM from cattle, sheep and goats (ruminants) bones should cease and that DSM produced from pork and poultry (non ruminant) bones should be categorised and labelled as mechanically separated meat (MSM). The European Commission’s view was that DSM does not comply with European Union single market legislation.
If the UK did not comply with the Commission’s demands it risked an EU-wide ban on certain UK meat products, including minced meat and MSM. This would have had a significant negative impact on the UK meat industry, both in terms of cost and reputation.
In response, the UK Government introduced a moratorium on the production and labelling of DSM. Production of DSM from ruminant bones would cease by the end of April 2012 and DSM from non-ruminant bones would be relabelled as MSM by the end of May 2012.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee launched an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the moratorium and published its report on 24 July 2012. The Government has today responded to the report’s recommendations in a document presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Health.