Dairy row: Conservatives say Commission attack is unfair and harsh

The Rt. Hon. Sir Robert Atkins, MEP for the North West, and the Deputy Leader of Tory MEPs, has stepped into the row between the EU Commission and Bowland Dairy Products of Barrowford, near Nelson, Lancashire.

Speaking after visiting Bowland Dairy Products, Sir Robert said:

There is a scientific argument between the Food Standards Agency and the EU Commission over the pros and cons of treating, cleaning and using waste, surplus and contaminated milk for the food processing industry and Bowland are in the middle. I am convinced that they are being unfairly and harshly treated and intend to pursue the Commission over their reasoning and their actions.”

Sir Robert has spoken to the Chief Executive of the Food Standards Agency, John Harwood, which is broadly supportive of Bowland’s procedures, and has learnt that the Commission intend to serve Infraction Proceedings on the FSA to close all or any such similar processes. They will be firmly resisted until – if ever - the science is proven.

“I have advised the Directors to seek further legal advice with a view to pursuing the Commission through the European Court of Justice and also to seek a ruling from the European Ombudsman, with which I shall assist them. But, sadly, all this will come too late for the 22 employees who have lost their jobs. And the implications for the UK dairy industry could be very far-reaching.”

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