DNA testing must be made permanent

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president, Gabriel Gilmartin, has welcomed European Commission proposals to implement a three-month programme of random DNA testing on meat products, but says the arrangement should be made permanent throughout the meat processing industry.

Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association president, Gabriel Gilmartin, has welcomed European Commission proposals to implement a three-month programme of random DNA testing on meat products, but says the arrangement should be made permanent throughout the meat processing industry.

Repeating the call he made earlier this week for compulsory DNA testing to be carried out by the competent authorities in each state, on an unannounced inspection basis, Mr Gilmartin said this would be a relatively straightforward process in terms of secondary meat processing units. But, he cautioned, “It would be more difficult in relation to meat traders, many of whom don’t appear to work from fixed premises. I am therefore urging a clampdown on the meat trading industry. There needs to be a complete review of the role of meat traders and it seems that there is an urgent need to look at what licensing conditions should be imposed on them.”