Minister wants European food testing overhaul
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has called for a Europe-wide overhaul of food testing in the wake of the horse meat scandal.
The current system relies too heavily on trusting paperwork that comes with meat shipments, Mr Paterson told Sky News' Murnaghan programme.
He spoke as the chief executive of one supermarket traded criticism with the Local Government Association after accusing councils of helping drive down the quality of food used in public sector contracts.
Mr Paterson said: "The whole problem we have is that the system... which is laid down from above trusts the paperwork.
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"So it trusts that the pallet conforms to the piece of paper.
"No-one checks what is on the pallet often enough, no-one checks what is in production often enough, no-one checks the finished product often enough.
"We have agreed in this particular issue there will be Europe-wide testing for horse DNA, there will be Europe-wide testing for bute, which is a major advance. When this is through, I want to have a proper look at the whole system."
Mr Paterson has also asked the Food Standards Agency to investigate claims that ministers were warned in 2011 that horse meat was illegally entering the human food chain.