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.

 

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

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

More funds needed to counter ‘persistent and multi-faceted humanitarian problems’ in Ethiopia

Commission publishes guidance on coronavirus-related humanitarian aid to Syria despite sanctions

Teamgum @ TheNextWeb 2014

A letter from Italy: Our insecurity in COVID-19 times

Companies that put employees first perform better

Vile act of torture prohibited ‘under all circumstances’, UN chief affirms on International Day to support victims

The power of partnership: joining forces to fight financial crime

Speak up for health care workers’ safety

Intervene, don’t overthink – the new mantra of systems design

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

This is what happened to CO2 emissions in the EU last year

From Israel’s ‘start-up nation’, 4 lessons in innovation

3.7 million lives could be saved by 2025 if health services ramp up nutrition actions: WHO

You can live up to 10 years longer by doing these 5 things

Statement by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría on the outcome of COP 25

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte: “Europe must listen to the people”

Integration of migrants: Commission launches a public consultation and call for an expert group on the views of migrants

European Youth Forum welcomes strong stance on human rights in State of the Union

Why rich countries are seeing more poverty

Quality of air in Bucharest-Romania: is it fog or is it smog?

Commission reaches agreement with collaborative economy platforms to publish key data on tourism accommodation

This is how we can feed the planet while saving the ocean

Genocide threat for Myanmar’s Rohingya greater than ever, investigators warn Human Rights Council

Mental health and suicide prevention

World Migratory Bird Day highlights deadly risks of plastic pollution

UN chief expresses solidarity with Indonesian authorities after flash floods kill dozens in Papua

‘Path to peace’ on Korean Peninsula only possible through diplomacy and full denuclearization: US tells Security Council

9 climate tipping points pushing Earth to the point of no return

EU Ombudsman investigates the European Commission

Humanitarian aid: €7 million for disaster preparedness in Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region

MEPs approve €585 million to support refugees from Syria

How can we make entrepreneurship serve the greater good?

Can the world take the risk of a new financial armageddon so that IMF doesn’t lose face towards Tsipras?

We need to build a quantum security coalition. Here’s why

A Sting Exclusive: “The challenge of Society’s digital transformation”, Spanish Minister of Spain for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria live from European Business Summit 2015

China’s lead in the global solar race – at a glance

How COVID-19 can be the Great Reset toward global sustainability

UN food agency begins ‘last resort’ partial withdrawal of aid to opposition-held Yemeni capital

The World Bank’s 2020 country classifications explained

Venezuela: Competing US, Russia resolutions fail to pass in Security Council

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

The EU has to prove it can remain one piece

Politics needs to “Youth UP” in order the ensure the future of our democracies

5 reasons to protect mangrove forests for the future

States with power and influence to end suffering of Yemenis must take action ‘immediately’ – UN rights chief

COVID-19: Both WHO and Europe must learn from the current pandemic, say MEPs

Italy’s revised budget remains roughly unchanged waiting for Europe’s fury

Tropical Cyclone Idai affects 1.5 million across Mozambique and Malawi, as UN ramps up response

Germany rules the banking industry of Eurozone

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

Labels for tyres: deal for greener and safer road transport

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

The Fourth Industrial Revolution must not leave farming behind

Agreement on linking the emissions trading systems of the EU and Switzerland

Political solution ‘long overdue’ to protect the children of eastern Ukraine

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

UN General Assembly President upholds value of multilateralism in speech closing annual debate

‘Air bridge’ vaccination operation begins for Ebola-hit communities in DR Congo

More Stings?

Advertising

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