Horse meat runs faster than authorities…

Photo reportage of open air market. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Photo reportage of open air market. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Every now and then, at irregular time intervals, the European food production chain is shaken by scandals that make consumers feel quite unprotected against the greed and the remorselessness of some producers and traders. Everybody understands that there are huge holes in the control and the food products labelling system, probably except the competent (?) authorities. Before the current alert of doctored horse meat being sold as beef, was the e-coli alert in Germany, the crazy cows epizootic outbreak in Britain, the chicken fed with raw sewage in Belgium and so on. This list contains only some of the food chain high notoriety incidents, with smaller alerts being a routine never reaching the 8 o’clock news.

After every food scandal bursts out, because it is not possible to be kept away from the Press, European regulators invariably call a conference in Brussels to cover the loopholes in the system. At least this is what they say. Seemingly those holes are so many and large, that it is logical to doubt if there is a system at all. Horses can pass through them, no? Actually whenever there is some regulation, there are no people to make sure it is respected.

Not to forget that nobody told us that it was not illegal to feed English cows with animal proteins, a practice that after many years turned them crazy. Nor any measures were taken against the German authorities for wrongly accusing the Spanish cucumber producers as the source of the e-coli contamination.  Berlin afterwards said nothing about the possible loopholes in their own systems. One has to recognise though, that if such a system exists somewhere, it has to be in Germany.

In short the European food control systems and early warning networks seem quite open to abuses, fraud and bribery. The people staffing them must be so impotent or careless in making sure that regulations are followed, that the whole thing looks like the Greek tax collection system. This time, with the horse meat in beef burgers, the stuff has being going around Europe for weeks or probably months, without any competent authority reining it.

The English bought it from the French, the French ordered it to Cypriots and the Cypriots had it from the Romanians. It’s rather cosy for the West Europeans to blame it to an ex-communist country, where the government services presumably may be under the spell of bribe taking and poor effectiveness. The fact remains, however, that the beef burgers with doctored horse meet in them, crossed half of Europe without being detected. Not to underestimate the possibility that the meat mix was produced in Britain itself. The British police forces raid yesterday slaughter houses and food producers.

It’s not only that. More English food retailers are now on the alert and found that their beef burgers contained pork meat also, without this being mentioned on labels. God knows what else is in there.

Today’s EU agricultural ministers’ informal meeting is devoted to “mislabelling” of food products. This is a nice way to put the fact that European consumers have being eating doctored horse meat without knowing it. What about the rumours or probably the fact, that this horse meat contained traces of substances improper for human consumption used to treat some horse diseases. Still, even if the label conveyed the information that there was horse meat in the burgers, would that had been enough? Would the label have contained the information that the horses were taking veterinary medicines? Obviously not, something like that would have been utterly absurd.

At the end of the day, it seems that nothing could have stopped the horse meat from being used to make beef burgers or any other food product. And this possibility is most alarming. Let’s see what the agricultural ministers are to decide today.

 

 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

6 surprising side effects of this year’s global heatwave

The needs, challenges and power dynamics of refugee resettlement

OECD sees global growth moderating as uncertainties intensify

G20 LIVE: G20 Antalya Summit in Numbers, 15-16 November 2015

Service and Sacrifice: Guinean peacekeepers make their mark in Mali

“A Junior Enterprise is run only by students.. there are no professors or managers that can help you solve your problems”

At the edge of humanity: refugee healthcare in Greece and the EU

It’s time to fulfil the promises made to women 25 years ago

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

The Europe we want: Just, Sustainable, Democratic and Inclusive

Low productivity jobs continue to drive employment growth

Ireland’s planning to make its Emerald Isle even greener

What Ghana can teach us about integrating refugees

Can green bonds help us manage climate risk?

AI-powered automation will have an ethnic bias

Obese people more likely to smoke, says new gene research: WHO

Russia and the West to partition Ukraine?

Conflict prevention, mediation: among ‘most important tools’ to reduce human suffering, Guterres tells Security Council

China, forever new adventures

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

Predicting two more years of economic stagnation

Removing sweets from supermarket checkouts could help fight obesity

New UN poverty report reveals ‘vast inequalities’ between countries

Primary Healthcare: Back to the Basics

It’s EU vs. Google for real: the time is now, the case is open

Technology can help us save the planet. But more than anything, we must learn to value nature

South Africa still hasn’t won LGBTQ+ equality. Here are 5 reasons why

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

The Eurogroup protects Germany and blames others

Central Asia: the European Union matches political commitment with further concrete support

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

The Commission tells Berlin it is legally obliged to help Eurozone out of stagnation

Ensure that widows are ‘not left out or left behind’, UN chief urges on International Day

In the future, no one should be excluded from healthcare

Member States’ compliance with EU law in 2018: efforts are paying off, but improvements still needed

EU Council approves visa-free travel for Ukraine and cement ties with Kiev

Counting spillovers from the fast track EU-US free trade agreement

Emergency meeting called as Ebola spreads to Congolese city – UN health agency

Parliament adopts new rules for short-stay visas

ECB steadily continues monetary easing policy as EU economy gains momentum

Breaking barriers between youth in the new tech era: is there an easy way through?

Main results of EU-Japan summit which took place on 25/04/2019 in Brussels

EU and China to do more in common if the global scene gets worse

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

COP21 Breaking News: Conference of Youth Focuses on Hard Skills to Drive Greater Climate Action

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Recession: the best argument for growth

This Indian school accepts plastic waste instead of fees

Global health challenges require global medical students

Thousands flee fresh violence in South Sudan, many ‘suffering from trauma’

Dignified health for all who live here

EU-U.S. Trade Talks: European Commission presents draft negotiating mandates

250+ senior claims leaders under one roof, exchanging transformation strategy

South Sudan ‘revitalized’ peace deal must be inclusive, Security Council hears

These artists created a huge open library – and their idea’s gone global

Cameron’s “No Brexit” campaign wins top business support as Tory front breaks

16 foods that are good for you – and the planet

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s