Reports of a batch of E.coli contaminated mince in the US containing Australian beef has been used as an opportunity by Bob Katter to trash the inspection procedures of the Australian beef industry and damage the reputation of this multi-million dollar sector.
The truth is that Australian beef is the cleanest beef in the world.
It has been confirmed that this isolated case originated in Australia however the product was clean on leaving Australia having passed the Australian E.coli testing program prior to export and was clean on entering the United States. The reality is that contamination can occur at any part of the supply chain.
Of the 16,000 meat shipments to the United States every year there have only ever been a small number of cases of Australian contaminated beef.
As the new mouthpiece for the unions, Bob is scaremongering.
It appears that Bob Katter has abandoned the cattle producers of Kennedy and is now working for the unions who are desperate to reinstate former meat inspection union members who are no longer required in abundance under the new AEMIS system paid for by the cattle producers.
When Bob Katter’s Australian Party accepted donations from the unions it was only a matter of time before the unions would come knocking for their payback.
Reinstating more health inspectors and turning back the clock to the previous system of inspection will do nothing to detect E.coli 0157:H7 as it is microbiological. E.coli is not visible to the naked eye and requires swabs being sent to a certified laboratory.
The tests for E.coli are conducted under the new AEMIS system of quality assurance that the majority of abattoirs are working under and the previous system that is still used by some abattoirs.
The truth is that meat produced in Australia and for export is safe to eat.
Bob’s attack on the beef industry may get him a headline but sooner or later he must decide if he stands for primary producers in Kennedy or for the unions.