The untold scandal behind horse burgers

Submitted by Matthew on 13 February, 2013 - 9:41

The horsemeat scandal is a scandal, but not for the reasons they say.

It’s not some “rogue trader “ in Poland or Romania, or France who we should be taking a closer look at.

The nice people from Tesco, Findus etc. are “appalled” at what has happened to them and their prey... err, sorry — I mean customers.

The companies will be happy that attention is being focussed on horse meat production because it takes attention away from the problems of processed food — the legal additives in burgers such as cultured protein, ground up chicken feathers, nitrates, di-glycerides of fatty acids.

Plus all the trimmings. That’s not the nice stuff you get at Christmas with your turkey. It’s the bits that are trimmed off the carcase at the abattoir and would otherwise be incinerated if brokers weren’t casting around to see what they can get for the price being dictated.

The problem here lies with the constant drive from food conglomerates and multi-nationals for short term profit. They offload their supply chain to brokers; their production to a sub-contractor and so it goes on.

This is not only about getting a cheaper price and making higher profit but is also explicitly about reducing the risk of being sued. Findus can take the moral high ground if something blows up in their face.

Along the supply chain there is scope to drive up profits by driving down wages and conditions for workers.

We can’t solve this by forming an orderly queue outside our local butchers. It is much better meat there, but it’s not all good news. Other multi-nationals — who make sheep and cattle feeds (and horse, no doubt) — with by-products from processing human food. When this goes back into the food chain — in the meat from these animals — we get a double whammy of previously-processed food in our processed food. I think this is where the “two for one” offer originated from!

Only proper wages and conditions throughout the food industry and workers’ control of food production — from field to fork — can ensure healthy, safe eating.

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