Meat with misleading labels sold across European Union despite horse meat scandal

A consumer watchdog has revealed that meat sold across the European Union contains less or different kind of meat than that labelled on the products. Several additives are present in commonly sold meat, including water and sulphites in mince beef, according to a report by the European Consumer Organisation BEUC.

“If we are serious about rebuilding confidence in meat, EU member states need to beef up controls and make sure labels are complete and accurate,” said Monique Goyens, BEUC director, in a statement. “Consumers buying roast pork or grilled sausages should know from the label how much meat they really contain. No one wants to buy water for the price of meat.”

Horse meat was found in burgers in place of beef leading to a major recall in 2013. The present situation with incorrect labels commonly found across supermarket shelves once again highlights the 2013 scandal.

Recently concerns have also been raised over illegal food additives, undeclared mechanically-separated meat, and other false substitutes commonly being used in meat. The findings have highlighted the need to better tackle food fraud and conduct more thorough EU checks.

Following the earlier horse meat scandal, Professor Chris Elliot’s report on fraud in the food industry found that price wars between supermarkets are partly to blame for the increased risk of contamination of cheap food. He called on retailers compromising on quality over price for cheap supplies as a crime, and said the government needs to adopt a zero tolerance approach to food fraud.

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
1 Comment
  • Daniel Cordero

    I have to say this doesn’t surprise an inch. Even if regulations seem strong enough on paper, enforcemeneve very dependable on each EU member state whims, level of cronyism and cultural views on animals; particularly horses. EU itself cannot enforce anything on its own (save for apparently the flow of cash to financially “rescued” countries if they don’t implement a neocon political agenda).

    Belgian and Dutch authorities couldn’t care less about horsemeat mislabelling fraud, particularly the later, as they are avid horsemeat eaters. Italian, Spanish or Romanian ones… better not to talk about that.

    And if horsemeat fraud seems to be endemic in the EU I cannot imagine how bad it is in the US with even weaker regulations, agribu$iness lobbyists and radical pundits calling for total derregulation, null enforcement from USDA and local authorities to protect the “good ol’boys” and two horse mass killing centers across both sides of the border.

    November 8, 2015