BRC director of food policy Richard Ali said it proposed to include a huge range of non-risk foodstuffs in the regulations, which are intended to prevent the spread of animal disease by stopping retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers from sending animal waste to landfill.

The latest consultation document prepared by a working group has stated that all dairy products fall within the legislation - previously dairy was a grey area.

Ali said: “It doesn’t matter if they are heat-treated or not. Where is the science in that?”

He added: “We are keen that a scientific risk analysis is used for
deciding what to include. DEFRA should use science to decide not just take a blanket approach.”

Provision Trade Federation manager for regulatory affairs Diana Axby said: “DEFRA is still working on basic questions such as what foodstuff waste constitutes a risk. That should have been clarified when the regulation was first proposed in the EU.”

The DEFRA working group paper also suggests systems for removing waste food from cans and jars are “available and well proven over a wide range of waste types”.

Ali said: “Quite clearly there are issues with packaging. We are making comments to DEFRA on operational issues for retailers.”

The DEFRA working group is planning to post the final draft of a report on implementing the EU legislation on its website later this month.

The legislation will come into full effect in 2005 when a two-year transitional period, agreed in May, expires.

The industry will then be required to use approved disposal methods, such as rendering, composting or treatment with biogas for disposal of former foodstuffs.
Anne Bruce
DEFRA is set to saddle the industry with huge costs if it continues to take a blanket approach to implementing the controversial EU animal by-products regulations says the British Retail Consortium.