“My fear of the current European system of regulation of food is that it is too trusting and too dependent on paperwork,” said Paterson in a wide-ranging interview covering subjects as diverse as the aftermath of the horsemeat crisis and campylobacter food poisoning.
“I’ve said all along, in meetings with the relevant countries and the relevant commissioners, we need to see more risk-based targeted testing and more random testing,” he added.
‘Not good enough to take on trust’
Paterson said it was not good enough to take on trust that “the manifest and the paperwork guarantees that what’s in the pallet is correct”.
Experience had shown that people had been “switching the paperwork and you can’t always trust it”.
The first part of our video interview with Paterson – in which he insisted food and drink manufacturers were better off under DEFRA leadership – is available here .
Meanwhile, this week Paterson realised his ambition of persuading the Russians to end their 18-year ban on British beef and lamb by signing an export deal said to be worth £100M over three years.
For more on our interview with Paterson, don’t miss the October edition of our sister publication Food Manufacture .