Horsemeat review: it’s not just rogues

I wasn’t surprised to read in the Guardian that the horesmeat substitution scandal isn’t a one-off limited to a few rogues and that the problem is exacerbated by weak policing, tight margins and stretched councils. The only thing I would have added to the list is customer demand for  cheaper meat.

If the government thought it was getting a dry technical expert to conduct its review of the horsemeat scandal in Chris Elliott, it miscalculated. Elliott is professor of food safety and director of the Institute for Global Food Security at Queen’s University Belfast, with hundreds of specialist academic articles on control of agriculture to his name. His report is explosive.

Both the environment department and No 10 are said to have been deeply uncomfortable about his insistence on repeatedly referring not just to food fraud, which might be the work of “rogue” operators, but to serious food crime in the mainstream industry.

While the report is careful not to join all the dots, and Elliott himself stresses that the scale of hidden illegal activity in our food supply is almost by definition impossible to calculate, it leaves little doubt that the UK has a very serious problem.

via Horsemeat review: not just rogues, UK has serious mainstream food crime | UK news | theguardian.com.

Enhanced by Zemanta

3 Responses to “Horsemeat review: it’s not just rogues”

  1. Trouble is, not all of these ‘consumers’ are just after a bargain, they’re trying to keep the paycheck going for the rest of the week. Until the problem of poverty is addressed in the UK not by increasing the number of food banks, but sorting out why we need more food banks, this sort of thing will continue.

    • Trying to keep paycheck going for the week does mean people are after a bargain. It’s irrelevant whether someone is looking for bargains because they’re skint or looking for bargain because they’re a cheapskate. However they arrive at the point of demanding cheapness, the effect is the same—it applies pressure through the system to put items on the shelf at a price point where a sale is most likely. With margins squeezed and the cost of production rising, it introduces more pressure to cut corners and provides more opportunities for substitutions, such as horsemeat or condemned meat.

  2. You are very insightful on this matter.Most folks do not look at the implications or “root” of a problem. It may be that you find a majority of readers will not be able to follow your reasoning. If more people could think/understand about how things really worked, the world could be so much better place to live. If the horsemeat issue was to be resolved correctly, by removing the corruption of the system (as you describe), prices for good products would be competitive once again. Perhaps this is why you are a crofter and not a politician. A smart man would always make that choice.

Leave a Reply

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 754 other followers

%d bloggers like this: