Tameside’s Lib Dem MEP has cast the key vote to reject a bid by the food industry to use ‘meat glue’ to enable meat from different sources to be stuck together in products.
Liberal Democrat Chris Davies says that he was not satisfied that consumers would be told the whole truth about what they were being invited to buy.
The proposal to authorise the use of an enzyme preparation based on thrombin was this week rejected by MEPs in the European Parliament by just one vote.
The decision came despite assurances from EU health commissioner John Dalli that the product was safe and its use would be clearly labelled.
Thrombin is a natural material made from the blood of cattle or pigs that has been used for centuries.
However, the food industry wants to use the enzyme preparation made from it to bind together separate meat pieces to produce products with a uniform shape and thickness. The glue could also be used to bind together small pieces of beef into a new size that might appear like fillet steak.
Davies said: “The meat industry uses every part of an animal, often in ways that consumers might prefer not to know, but many people will think that the use of meat glue goes one step too far.
“I accept that the health risks are minimal but if products consist of meat from different sources that has been glued together I want consumers to be told this in the clearest possible terms.”