February 05, 2015

05/02/2015: Horsemeat scandal watchdog R-Biopharm Rhône welcomes plan for new food crime unit

The Scottish-based company which was at the forefront of food safety in the horsemeat scandal of 2012 has welcomed the Government's plan to set up a food crime unit to combat the trade in fraudulent products.

R-Biopharm Rhône, the manufacturer and one of Scotland's biggest exporter of diagnostic test kits, hailed the recommendation which is the major plank in a report by food security expert Professor Chris Elliott of Queen's University Belfast.
 

http://www.r-biopharm.com/

He has suggested food crime prevention measures including better intelligence gathering, unannounced audits, improved lab testing capacity and a more investigative approach by the food industry to its supply chain.

Simon Bevis, Managing Director of R-Biopharm Rhône, said: "This is a welcome move and it is encouraging that ministers have indicated that all the recommendations in Professor Elliott's report will be accepted.

"It is of the utmost importance that consumers in the UK can have confidence in the provenance of their food and be assured that the product is actually what it is labelled as. If it is not, then it is fraud."

R-Biopharm Rhône was in the front line of the UK's defences against food contamination during the horsemeat scandal two years ago, when the Food Standards Agency found beefburgers with traces of equine DNA, leading to tens of millions of burgers being taken off the shelves by major retailers.

The company is now spearheading investigatory testing as concerns mount about cheap fish being substituted for expensive fish without the consumer knowing.

Carol Donnelly, Marketing Manager at R-Biopharm Rhône, said: "We are seeing increasing concerns, particularly in the fish processing industry, about cheap fish, such as pollock or coley, being substituted for premium species such as cod."

The Glasgow-based company sells DNA test kits which can determine the authenticity of fish products and provides a testing service to speedily let companies know if their fish is the species they paid for.

R-Biopharm Rhône, which is based in the West of Scotland Science Park in Glasgow, now employs 50 people, including 15 research and development scientists and is actively recruiting more production staff.

 

Visit the website HERE.
 

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