Consumers suffer three defeats

Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, on the left, and Tonio Borg, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy gave yesterday a joint press conference on the Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package. (EC Audiovisual Services).

Antonio Tajani, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, on the left, and Tonio Borg, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy gave yesterday a joint press conference on the Product Safety and Market Surveillance Package. (EC Audiovisual Services).

European consumers suffered three blows yesterday. After having being informed that their beef burgers contained uncontrolled horse meat and secondly that the EU is ready to allow in American GMOs and animal products with hormones, came the Commission to recognise, that safety rules in the non-food product markets are inadequate. On this last issue the European Commission proposed yesterday, “new rules to improve the safety of consumer products circulating in the Single Market and to step-up market surveillance concerning all non-food products, including those imported from 3rd countries”. Let’s take one thing at a time, starting from the most urgent subject, the horse meat.

What horse meat?

The 27 EU ministers of agriculture gathered yesterday in Brussels to hear Tonio Borg, Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, telling them that, “regarding the unlabeled presence of horsemeat found in certain processed food products, including burgers and beef lasagne…it is important to underline that the evidence to date in relation to this episode does not suggest a health crisis. Horsemeat, according to EU legislation, can be used for the production of minced meat and meat preparations”…

Unbelievably, no one of the 27 minister asked Tonio how he could know that this horse meat did not contain unauthorised substances, since it was introduced in the mincemeat under dark procedures. On top of it is more than certain that the “stuff” is still in circulation and again Tonio has not the means to know, if it is safe prime quality horse meat. From what we know the prime quality horse meat is more expensive than beef.

Consequently, there was no incentive to mix horse meat of acceptable and marketable quality in the beef burgers. So Tonio could have concluded that the horse meat used in this case must have been of non-acceptable quality, that is dangerous. But Tonio didn’t make this simple reasoning, he just rushed to convince everybody that it is safe to continue eat beef burgers with horse meat of unknown origin and quality.

Commissioner Tonio didn’t stop there. He went on by saying that it is “The Member States are responsible for ensuring the proper enforcement of EU rules. Once a food product is put on the market in the EU, it is the responsibility of Member States to check whether or not the product presents a risk and whether it complies with applicable legislation”. As if we didn’t know this. Seemingly stating the obvious is an art at Berlaymont.

Not a word for the completely ineffective EU control system of food sector. Britons were allowed to feed their cows with animal proteins until they turned them mad. Germans were selling food with e-coli unobstructed until people started dying by the tens. In reality, the control system of the food sector is based on the responsibility of the producer. That is why is so ineffective.

But Tonio didn’t find a word about all that. He simply said that nothing is going to change and member states will continue doing what they have being doing so far. In short, we consumers have only God to pray for the next food scandal not to come. As for the advertised DNA controls to be performed on the meat of beef burgers for one month, this is like trying to airlift the undernourished millions in some poverty-stricken region.

Non food

As if there was not enough negative charge in the market atmosphere the EU Commission announced an initiative for “Safer products and a level playing field in the internal market”. Not that there is no need for that, but the timing is bad and reminds us all that the controls performed so far are not adequate. In short the “European Commission proposed today new rules to improve the safety of consumer products circulating in the Single Market and to step-up market surveillance concerning all non-food products, including those imported from 3rd countries”. It was high time to do that.

EU-US trade

Last but not least also yesterday the European Commission announced that the EU is about to start negotiations with the United Sates to conclude a Free Trade Agreement. As the Sting writes today “As for the European consumers, who will be forced to eat American meat with hormones and genetically modified corn, wheat and soya, let them eat what their American counterparts swallow every day and still remain alive…”







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

Barriers to healthcare: are they real?

Greferendum: the biggest political gaffe in western modern history to tear Europe apart? #Grexit #Graccident

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

New seat projections for the next European Parliament

Latin America is a mass-transit powerhouse. But it needs fine-tuning

UN health experts warn ‘dramatic resurgence’ of measles continues to threaten the European region

EU approves disbursement of €500 million in Macro-Financial Assistance to Ukraine

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Reflections on the the biggest refugee crisis since World War II

Libya stands at a ‘critical juncture’, UN mission head tells Security Council

China by numbers: 10 facts to help you understand the superpower today

Northern Ireland: Parliament wants to secure post-Brexit regional funding

A new generation of women leaders is making waves in the Arab world

Ongoing insecurity in Darfur, despite ‘remarkable developments’ in Sudan: UN peacekeeping chief

EU Directive makes haircut on uncovered deposits a standard in bank bail-ins

Let us keep ‘their spirit of service alive’: Guterres leads tributes to UN workers who died in Ethiopia crash

UN chief welcomes possibility of resumed talks between US and North Korea

New VAT rules in the EU: how a digital sea could have become an ocean

Work Together to Build a New Type of International Relations and a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity

Killing of aid worker in Syria part of ‘disturbing trend’

MWC 2016 LIVE: 5G to embrace unlicensed bands and Wi-Fi

‘Bicycle Kingdom’ makes a comeback, as China seeks solutions to tackle air pollution crisis

G20 starts to tackle inequality

Minority governments ‘à la mode’ in Europe but can they last long?

UN food agency appeals for access to key storage facility amid fight for Hudaydah

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Afghanistan extends ceasefire with Taliban; UN urges both sides to work towards lasting peace

Further reforms needed for a stronger and more inclusive Argentine economy

UN chief praises impact of Palestine refugee agency as ‘our common success’, at key pledging conference

The ‘abuse of food relief in Yemen’ must end now

Onagawa’s spirit of togetherness: lessons from the 2011 tsunami

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

Drone regulation is necessary to democratize the sky for humanity

European Commission and four online marketplaces sign a Product Safety Pledge to remove dangerous products

Who will secure Lithuania?

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

Is Data Privacy really safe seen through Commissioner’s PRISM?

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

GSMA Mobile 360 – MENA Dubai on 26-27 November 2019, in association with The European Sting

Sri Lankan authorities must work ‘vigorously’ to ease simmering ethno-religious tensions, urges UN rights expert

Cybersecurity: agreement reached on better protection for citizens and companies

Which EU countries have to correct their economic policies?

Despite falling attacks, ISIL terrorists remain ‘global threat’: UN report

4 radical shifts required to achieve universal health coverage worldwide

Senior UN adviser sees ‘rare’ victory for humanitarian diplomacy as aid convoy reaches desert camp in Syria

‘Much more’ can be done to raise awareness about the plight of persons with albinism: UN chief

EU Commission closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panel imports?

This project in India helps people and tigers co-exist peacefully

Microplastics have been found in Rocky Mountain rainwater

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

US migrant children policy reversal, still ‘fails’ thousands of detained youngsters: UN rights experts

South Sudan: UN condemns ‘brutal’ sexual assaults on roads to Bentiu

Menu for change: why we have to go towards a Common Food Policy

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

Eurozone: New data show recession and debt closer to explosion

A Sting Exclusive: “Paris and beyond: EU action and what COP21 should deliver”, Green MEP Keith Taylor discusses from Brussels 

‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day

‘A trusted voice’ for social justice: Guterres celebrates 100 years of the International Labour Organization

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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