NFU responds to another ‘incorrect’ Daily Mail article
THE NFU has again accused the Daily Mail of publishing an article making ‘factually incorrect’ claims about the farming industry.
NFU deputy president Minette Batters has written to the newspaper in response to an article published on Tuesday by Dr Martin Scurr entitled
The article warned that ‘our foods are polluted by so many chemicals’.
It added: “These pollutants include antibiotics (80 per cent of all antibiotics used
in the world are given to the animals that we eat), and weed killers such as
glyphosate, used on wheat fields and remaining as residues (heat does not
destroy it) in the flour used to make bread.”
The paper was recently forced to publish a prominent clarification after another
doctor made various false claims about the dairy sector, including claims cos were
regularly treated with hormones.
This followed a co-ordinated industry backlash.
Mrs Batters has written to the seeking to redress the comments made by Dr Scurr this week.
She wrote: “Dr Martin Scurr’s article ‘By the way…Unknown dangers of chemicals
in our food’ (16/9/14) represents yet another example of ignorance being
reported as fact, and when this is about our nation’s food supplies and health, is
nothing short of irresponsible.
“The use of animal medicines and pesticides is strictly controlled and farmers are legally required to record all uses of these.
“This is reinforced and independently audited throughout the supply chain by Red Tractor, alongside their world leading traceability, animal welfare and environmental protection standards.”
She added that Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) alongside withdrawal periods are also implemented under EU law to ensure the concentration of residues is safe for human consumption.
She said comments about consumers being exposed to antibiotic residues in chicken was therefore ‘factually incorrect as he has failed to recognise the existence of MRLs and withdrawal periods which are built into veterinary medicine licensing and regulation for the sole purposes of protecting the consumer’.
“The doctor’s lack of knowledge is further demonstrated in his final accusations of a farming sector which does not care about consumer health, and is focussed purely on yield,” she wrote.
“His view of UK agriculture is belied by the green and environmentally productive countryside around us, and the quality of the food produced from it.”
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