Elliott Review Birmingham: To lead in the intelligence needed to ensure safe food supplies

James&icecreamThe food that you buy, the food that you put in your mouth, is it what you think it is?

The answer is: Quite possibly not.

Fancy industrial solvent inyour vodka, EU-banned flame retardant in fruit juices, herbal slimming tea containing neither tea nor herbs, but rather glucose powder mixed with prescription obesity medication at 13 times the normal dose, pork or poultry in “beef’ burgers, prawns which are actually 50% water, cheese on pizzas that isn’t actually cheese but oil-based fats?

About the horsemeat scandal, many people have said to me that they don’t mind eating horse instead of beef. Uh-huh. Knackered, ketamine-treated old racehorse? And in so doing lining the pockets of criminals with billions (yes, billions) taken from your hard-earned money?

It takes co-ordinated intelligence to beat the large-scale criminal activity that’s threatening your and my food supply — and that’s exactly what a group of people from across the food supply network here in Birmingham is putting together as part of the UK’s response to the horsemeat scandal, the Elliott Review.

Public analysts in West Yorkshire routinely find that over a third of our food stuffs are adulterated, that what we eat isn’t what it said on the label.

Here in Birmingham, we have the opportunity to be the intelligence centre for the UK on the identification of food crime. The food industry is a vital part of our economy, we’re at the centre of the UK transport system — and we bring into the conurbation enough food to feed the 2.5M of us who live here. Join the conversation #BrumElliott!

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