I would like to make some comments the
'Crooked Britain' Unfit Meat programme.
1) To give you some idea of the background on
this programme. I was approached by the producer around June last
year. The BBC had been given my details by the Sunday Times and the
BBC wanted details of the cases I had in Shropshire/Wales/Midlands etc.
Since no serious questions were ever asked by this producer, nor by the
research assistant (who became a pain, ringing at all hours). I declined
to become involved.
2) The programme was more 'theatre' than I
could ever have imagined.
First of all, our intrepid reporter Mike Radford,
dons a pair of builders overalls - not whites - to pass himself off as a butcher
!!! He then loads his white van with a couple of gastronome trays (no good
whatsoever for storing meat) and sets off to the chicken
If you have ever plucked a chicken, pheasant,
quail, duck etc , you are well aware of the amount of feathers that a bird
possesses. The chicken slaughterhouse shots did not show many feathers,
nor was a de-plucking machine seen. This man was supposed to be dealing in
3,000 birds per week. Where were all the feathers, who was plucking
? The wheelbarrow full of guts etc was ridiculous. You would
need skips and wheelie bins to remove the innards, feathers, head, feet
etc. This operation looked too small, not to mention 'staged' to be
a fully operational illegal slaughterhouse.
3) The whole lamb allegedly collected from
Smithfield market was thrown onto the floor of the white van. This
would have contaminated the whole carcass, the EHO would be furious, so who's
kidding who here ?
4) The Hereford cows and calves looked in
prime condition. never mind the fact that ear tags were not present.
But if you looked at the surrounding area you would see that there was no way
these animals were foraging on that field. The condition of the cows
and especially the calves told me that they had not been there very
long. Probably dropped off earlier in the day!!!
5) The 'farmer' with the meat stamp.
The stamp used by the MHS is an OVAL stamp - not a square one as
shown on the programme. Someone did not do their homework
6) Having worked with TV now for 9
months, it is amazing the things they tell you. For instance, a right to
reply is paramount in all media activities. TESCO did not make any comment
to the Two Sisters cutting plant shots. They would have been given a right
to reply, but for some reason saw fit not to. That tells me that TESCO did
not take this footage seriously.
7) The raid at the slaughterhouse took place
AFTER Radford went back to the premises and made the owner 'aware' of his true
identity. Sorry, that's not how these things are dealt
with. No prosecutions can now be undertaken, as this is Trial
by Media in the truest sense of the word. The EHO/Trading Standards would not have allowed those scenes to take
place. I would suggest that the raid took place first, followed by the BBC
then arriving and filming the interview.
If this is the best the BBC can do - on what is a
very serious problem, I suggest we all join Jonathan Milller and not renew our
licences. This programme was tacky, clearly staged, not
sufficiently researched and quite frankly was aimed at the Sun reader...sorry if
you take that tabloid.
It is interesting to note that the Sunday Times
have asked me today if the 'farmer' really is a farmer !!! Who
knows....after all this is the BBC
In May this year, the biggest illegal meat scam
will hit the media. The company is called Denby Poultry Products, where
1,000's of tonnes of meat, destined for pet food, managed to get to all the
major supermarkets. Over half a dozen people are involved. It is
interesting to note that Andrew Hopkin - chair of the inquiry into unfit meat,
on behalf of the FSA was the leading EHO in the investigations. All the
people involved are in court facing dozens of charges. I firmly believe
this is why the FSA are finally doing something about this problem but as usual
have totally missed the point. Meat is not just being diverted from the
abattoirs.....that problem is pretty small......what is a problem is the illegal
slaughterhouses, the corruption within the MHS and the lack of accountability
with the FSA.