WANT PUBLIC MEAT INSPECTION – UNISON SURVEY REVEALS
union for meat hygiene inspectors, has written to board members of
the Food Standards Agency (FSA) urging them not to privatise meat
hygiene inspection. The FSA is meeting on Wednesday, 7 May 2008 to
discuss handing over meat inspection to a private sector control
body. The Ipsos MORI poll for UNISON revealed that 76% of the public
support keeping meat inspection in the hands of government
inspectors, in line with the union's campaign.
UNISON National Officer for Meat Inspectors, Ben Priestley, said;-
“Our survey shows that the public oppose privatisation of meat
inspectors. People want to be absolutely sure that their Sunday
roast is safe to eat. The FSA must realise that privatisation will
compromise food safety as profits become the priority.
Privatisation will immeasurably damage the ability of the Food
Standards Agency to control serious public health and hygiene
issues. The latest figures show cases of e-Coli hit a 6-year high
with standards at UK abattoirs falling. This means the Meat Hygiene
Service needs tighter regulation with more scope to protect the
public, not less.”
UNISON is working with the Meat Hygiene Service to deliver the ‘Transformed
Meat Hygiene Service’ as an alternative to privatisation.
The MHS has already exceeded its financial targets to cut
expenditure for 2008.
Ben Priestley continued:- “UNISON has written to all members
of the FSA board urging them to show their support for the ‘Transformed
Meat Inspection Service’. We need a quality public sector service
staffed with well-trained, independent meat inspectors. This is the
only way to deliver genuine modernisation of meat inspection and
safeguard the health of the UK consumer.”
The Ipsos MORI survey found:-
76% of people would like meat inspection
in slaughterhouses to remain a government responsibility. Only 8%
58% of people would feel less confident
that meat would be safe to eat if the meat hygiene service were
privatised, only 7% would feel more confident.
Ipsos MORI interviewed 2,024 adults aged 16 or over between 13 and
18 March 2008. Interviews were conducted face-to-face in-home and
the data have been weighted to the national profile of Great
NICE ‘penny-pinching’ restricts patient choice
arthritis charity accused the government’s health rationing watchdog
of ‘penny-pinching’ in its decision to refuse thousands of
people the chance to try an alternative life-changing anti-TNF drug
if a first does not work for them.
"Anti-TNFs can slow down the progress of rheumatoid arthritis.
We hear a lot about patient 'choice' but where is it in the
decision to limit treatment options in this way?
But any supposed
saving is false; the human cost alone is enormous, not to mention
the cost to society and the economy.
means that people now only have one option (rituximab) if their
anti-TNF doesn’t work; and if rituximab fails them too, their
disease will progress, causing irreversible damage to their joints,
disability, poverty, and a significantly shortened life expectancy.
It just robs Peter to pay Paul as they will need higher levels of
NHS intervention, more in-patient bed days, more orthopaedic
surgery, and probably end up leaving their jobs and having to claim
incapacity benefit instead of being active, productive members of UK
It is a
terrible irony that the current NHS buzzword is ‘choice'; but this decision restricts choice
not on clinical grounds, but on grounds of cost alone.
supposed to make its decisions on grounds of clinical and cost
effectiveness, but on this occasion, penny-pinching has been the
deciding factor" said Arthritis Care
chief executive Neil Betteridge.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE)
delivered its body blow that has been given to us all by decision on the sequential use of
anti-TNFs, which, if allowed, would have meant that people in
England and Wales could try another drug in the same class if their
initial treatment did not work.
As each person reacts differently, when prescribing, doctors cannot
predict which drug will best suit an individual. But it is known
that four out of five people respond to a second anti-TNF therapy.
In most parts of Europe, sequential use is not only allowed but