The EC has clashed with MPs over its handling of the desinewed meat ban, after MPs accused officials of not being democratically accountable.

In an EFRA committee report on the ban, published last week, MPs reported that British meat producers had suffered “devastating consequences” as a result of the EC’s clamp-down on desinewed meat. Estimates suggest the ban could cost the industry up to £200m.

“The Commission’s failure to justify its actions and fulfil its duty to provide oral evidence to the national parliament of a member state demonstrates a worrying disregard for democratic accountability,” the report stated.

A spokeswoman for the EC denied the EFRA’s version of events. She said it had, in fact, provided written evidence to the EFRA and had offered to meet EFRA chairwoman Ann McIntosh in Brussels, but this was rejected.

However, McIntosh told The Grocer the EC tried to catch her “on the hop” when she was in Brussels on an unrelated matter. “They have provided evidence to us before, via video link, so there’s no reason why they could not have done so this time,” she said.