I would like to make some comments the 'Crooked Britain' Unfit Meat programme.  
 
1)  To give you some idea of the background on this programme.  I was approached by the producer around June last year.  The BBC had been given my details by the Sunday Times and the BBC wanted details of the cases I had in Shropshire/Wales/Midlands etc.  Since  no serious questions were ever asked by this producer, nor by the research assistant (who became a pain, ringing at all hours).  I declined to become involved.
 
2)  The programme was more 'theatre' than I could ever have imagined.
 
First of all, our intrepid reporter Mike Radford, dons a pair of builders overalls - not whites - to pass himself off as a butcher !!!  He then loads his white van with a couple of gastronome trays (no good whatsoever for storing meat) and sets off to the chicken slaughterhouse.
 
 If you have ever plucked a chicken, pheasant, quail, duck etc , you are well aware of the amount of feathers that a bird possesses.  The chicken slaughterhouse shots did not show many feathers, nor was a de-plucking machine seen.  This man was supposed to be dealing in 3,000 birds per week.  Where were all the feathers, who was plucking ?  The wheelbarrow full of guts etc was ridiculous.   You would need skips and wheelie bins to remove the innards, feathers, head, feet etc.   This operation looked too small, not to mention 'staged' to be a fully operational illegal slaughterhouse.
 
3)  The whole lamb allegedly collected from Smithfield market was thrown onto the floor of the white van.   This would have contaminated the whole carcass, the EHO would be furious, so who's kidding who here ? 
 
4)  The Hereford cows and calves looked in prime condition.  never mind the fact that ear tags were not present.  But if you looked at the surrounding area you would see that there was no way these animals were foraging on that field.  The condition of the cows and especially the calves told me that they had not been there very long.  Probably dropped off earlier in the day!!!
 
5)  The 'farmer' with the meat stamp.  The stamp used by the MHS is an OVAL stamp - not a square one as shown on the programme.   Someone did not do their homework !!!
 
6)  Having worked with TV now for 9 months, it is amazing the things they tell you.  For instance, a right to reply is paramount in all media activities.  TESCO did not make any comment to the Two Sisters cutting plant shots.  They would have been given a right to reply, but for some reason saw fit not to.  That tells me that TESCO did not take this footage seriously.
 
7)  The raid at the slaughterhouse took place AFTER Radford went back to the premises and made the owner 'aware' of his true identity.   Sorry, that's not how these things are dealt with.   No prosecutions can now be undertaken,  as this is Trial by Media in the truest sense of the word.   The EHO/Trading Standards would not have allowed those scenes to take place.  I would suggest that the raid took place first, followed by the BBC then arriving and filming the interview.
 
If this is the best the BBC can do - on what is a very serious problem, I suggest we all join Jonathan Milller and not renew our licences.   This programme was tacky, clearly staged, not sufficiently researched and quite frankly was aimed at the Sun reader...sorry if you take that tabloid.
 
It is interesting to note that the Sunday Times have asked me today if the 'farmer' really is a farmer !!!  Who knows....after all this is the BBC
 
In May this year, the biggest illegal meat scam will hit the media.  The company is called Denby Poultry Products, where 1,000's of tonnes of meat, destined for pet food, managed to get to all the major supermarkets.  Over half a dozen people are involved.  It is interesting to note that Andrew Hopkin - chair of the inquiry into unfit meat, on behalf of the FSA was the leading EHO in the investigations.  All the people involved are in court facing dozens of charges.  I firmly believe this is why the FSA are finally doing something about this problem but as usual have totally missed the point.  Meat is not just being diverted from the abattoirs.....that problem is pretty small......what is a problem is the illegal slaughterhouses, the corruption within the MHS and the lack of accountability with the FSA.
 
Val Sinclair