Food standards agency investigates presence of meat in 'vegan' products
The Food Standards Agency in the UK is investigating allegations that animal DNA has been found in certain vegan products.

Traces of pork and turkey have been found in two separate "meat-free" branded products, The Daily Telegraph has claimed. The newspaper said laboratory tests found traces of pork in Sainsbury's own brand "meat-free" meatballs and turkey in Tesco's new "Wicked Kitchen" vegan macaroni.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the UK said the laboratory results have not been shared with the agency, but it is investigating the claims.

Confident

"Our priority is to ensure consumers can be confident that the food they eat is safe and is what it says it is," a spokesperson for the FSA said. "We are investigating the circumstances surrounding these alleged incidents and any resulting action will depend upon the evidence found.”

A Tesco spokesperson said: "We take the quality and integrity of our products extremely seriously and understand that our vegan and vegetarian products should be exactly that. Our initial DNA tests have found no traces of animal DNA in the BBQ Butternut Mac product available in stores today. We would urge the Telegraph to share full details of their testing, including the lab used as we continue to investigate.”

Sainsbury's said its products are produced at a meat-free factory.

"Sainsbury’s and the Vegetarian Society also carry out regular checks and no issues have been found," a spokesperson for the retailer said. “We have urgently investigated these findings, including extensive DNA analysis, and can find no evidence. Our investigation is ongoing.”

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Two injured in under-age tractor driving incident
Police in Northern Ireland said two juveniles were injured in an incident with a tractor driven by a third one.

The PSNI's Cookstown unit said on its Facebook page that it joined two ambulances and paramedics at the scene in Coagh, Co Tyrone this Sunday.

"Two juveniles fell from a tractor being driven by a third juvenile," police said. "Both sustained injuries significant enough that they required transfer by ambulance to hospital. The tractor should not have been on the road and should not have been carrying passengers."

Officers have prepared a file for the Public Prosecution Service against the driver for "a range of offences," adding that the incident "could have been a lot worse".

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Repeat of forgotten farmers blunder may be avoided in new CAP
There may be a chance to support the so-called forgotten farmers who were excluded by the rules of young farmers' schemes in the past, Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed has indicated.

Fianna Fáil agriculture spokesperson Charlie McConalogue asked Minister Creed this week "his views on whether young farmers who are under 40 years of age but that have been farming for more than five years and that are not permitted to access measures currently under Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, including being able to apply for the national reserve and for top-up entitlements will be eligible in the new CAP".

It appears that there will be some member state discretion in configuring the necessary supports

His question was connected to a proposed rule allowing each European country to define what is a young farmer after 2020.

Minister Creed said that while increased support for young farmers in the proposed structure for the next CAP applies to trained "young farmers who have newly set up a holding for the first time" or become head of the farm for the first time, "it appears that there will be some member state discretion in configuring the necessary supports".

This could avoid a repeat of the anomaly that has seen around 2,000 farmers miss out on current schemes.

Consultation

On these and other questions relating to the CAP after 2020, the minster said he would open a new public consultation next month now that the European Commission has published its initial proposal. "Ultimately the shape of the regulations will be determined by engagement with the Commission, member states the European Parliament, but I am anxious that Irish citizens have an opportunity to have their voices heard in the process," Minister Creed said.

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