Further discussions, including the possibility of a vote on the use of lactic acid as a decontaminant for beef and veal carcases will be held between EU member states this week, with the issue on the agenda at the meeting of the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 21 September 2012 (agra-net). The discussions follow an application from the United States Department of Agriculture, which requested lactic acid be permitted as a decontaminant for beef carcases destined for the EU.
If the proposal passes the Standing Committee, the regulation will not however be adopted immediately. It must also pass a three month scrutiny period in the European Parliament and Council, with either having the power to veto the regulation.
The regulation comes on the back of the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) clearing lactic acid treatment of any safety concerns. If the regulation was to pass, this would have a significant impact on the US’s ability to fill the HQB grainfed quota, recently increased to 48,200 tonnes. Currently the US supply is limited due to widespread use of lactic acid by US processors. An approval of the use of lactic acid will significantly enhance the US ability to fill the quota, effectively increasing competition for Australian grainfed beef in the EU market.
Source: Argentine Beef Packers S.A.
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