Don't risk lives - Keep meat inspections independent

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Our 6 year old daughter Joanna was a beautiful, healthy, fun loving child without a care in the world.  A bright future lay ahead of her until suddenly it came to a halt.  Joanna ate meat at a fast food restaurant which contained the deadly bacterium E.coli O157 and what came next was unimaginable. 

She suffered excruciating stomach pains with sickness and diarrhoea, her kidneys failed and even with the help of dialysis she deteriorated rapidly. Joanna suffered multi organ failure and within nine days she was dead.

Joanna's story is not an isolated case.  Apart from loss of life, people have suffered brain damage, kidney damage, seizures etc., all because of consuming contaminated meat.  We are aware of these tragedies because of our involvement with a small charity called Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome Help [HUSH].

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) now want to stop independent meat inspections by Meat Hygiene Inspectors and Official Vets and leave the slaughter houses to carry out their own inspections for hygiene and safety.

For an organisation such as FSA to contemplate such a dangerous strategy in terms of public health in unbelievable.

The FSA was set up in 2000 after Mad Cow Disease to control bad practices within the food industry and claim to "put the consumer first". Whilst we appreciate they have excelled with regards to diet and nutrition, the same cannot be said for food-borne illnesses, mainly caused by contaminated meat.

New proposals mean that the meat industry will be able to regulate itself rather than have independent inspections. If our Meat Inspectors are not there to give us independent health and safety and hygiene advice in slaughter houses, we should be asking the question 'if the Food Standards Agency is really fit for its purpose?'

We strongly urge you to sign this petition to keep the Meat Hygiene Inspectors and inspections independent and send a clear message to the FSA to stop listening to the meat industry and pandering to their cost saving ideas at the expense of public health.

Please don't let others suffer unnecessarily.
Norah and Steve Nash