27 Aug 2013

Meat inspections should be centralised - MP

7:11 am on 27 August 2013

The Government needs to reverse its partial privatisation of meat inspections, the Green Party says.

Last year, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) allowed meat processors to take over some of the inspection work previously done by government meat inspectors, such as testing on non food safety-related issues.

The move reduced costs for both the companies and the Government.

However, Green Party agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning says recent incidents involving dairy products show the Government needs to be closely involved when it comes to the food we export, and MPI needs to rethink its approach to meat industry testing.

"The meat industry is the next area that may show up some significant risk and, basically, the privatisation of meat inspections back into the processors themselves was risky and that may need to be reassessed," Mr Browning says.

Safety assurances around meat inspections need to be "top-notch" to avoid similar problems to those experienced in the dairy industry, he says.