A decision by the Food Standards Authority to advise the government not to lift a ban on the use of processed animal protein in non-ruminant feed will be challenged, according to the NFU.

NFU President Peter Kendall has written to Agriculture Minister Jim Paice to raise a number of concerns over how board members reached their decision, including that the board did not discuss the rationale behind the proposal. “It was worrying that during the meeting, board members stated they didn’t understand the background to the proposed amendment to the regulation," said Kendall. "Therefore, I feel that consumers watching these proceedings were not provided with a balanced overview of the issue and were led to believe that the science and enforcement surrounding it could not be relied upon."

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Kendall said the NFU is concerned that the board did not properly debate the issue, and did not take the scientific information into full consideration. "If the agency considers there to be substantive gaps in the science, a situation that was not in fact described in [the provided report], it should ensure the necessary research is carried out to fill them,” said Kendall.

The government will now consider the evidence and views expressed and decide on the UK position on the proposal to relax the current ban on feeding processed animal protein.