Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In 1973, the movie Soylent Green highlighted the contamination of the food supply, in 2013, we have the horse meat scandal, Soylent Green was people, now 'meatballs' made in Glasgow are found to contain pork!

Dear All

Do you remember the movie Soylent Green?

It starred Charlton Heston and, in his final film, Edward G. Robinson. It is a classic movie of the 1970’s.

In the movie, the Earth is dying and into the food chain goes ‘food’ that the people think is the new wonder food product, the truth is more sinister.

It was people!

However in 2013, we aren’t quite there yet, instead of harvesting the dead to make a tasty morsel, we are now getting horsemeat instead of cattle.

And the horsemeat scandal is big, the security of the food is a concern that all governments cannot ignore for its population’s safety.

The latest piece of news from the fallout is that products from a Glasgow food factory have been implicated.

Waitrose announced on Tuesday it had withdrawn its beef Essential British Frozen Meatballs after pork was found in two batches.

It seems until this situation is sorted out, then the public will stop buying meat products or shop in local butchers.

A Waitrose spokesman said:

“Several tests have been done on this product and, even though the results have been contradictory, we have taken the precautionary action of removing the frozen meatballs from sale and putting up customer information notices in all our branches.”

Putting a brave face on it, when more clarity is called for, right across the board!

And we are seeing Police not only investigating but actually carrying out raids; it seems that concerns have been raised of possible criminality on the part of others involved in supplying meat products.

Meanwhile down south, Conservative Environment Secretary Owen Paterson will fly to Brussels today for a horse meat summit.

Presumably not on Pegasus, the winged horse of legend.

He is probably been processed in a pie somewhere and sitting in your local supermarket.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) clearly needs more resources and a more proactive role in the food industry.

They have accompanied police swooped on a slaughterhouse and a meat manufacturer after apparently uncovering "a blatant misleading of consumers".

Looks like a trial is in the offing for some people!

Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, and meat processing plant Farmbox Meats at Llandre in Aberystwyth, West Wales are under investigation and have had records seized.

At present they are temporarily shut down pending the outcome of investigations into claims they supplied and used horse carcasses in burgers and kebabs.

Andrew Rhodes, FSA director of operations, said:

"I ordered an audit of all horse producing abattoirs in the UK after this issue first arose last month and I was shocked to uncover what appears to be a blatant misleading of consumers. I have suspended both plants immediately while our investigations continue."

David Cameron has now promised that anyone involved in passing off horsemeat as beef will face the full force of the law, , seems fine as far as that goes, but didn’t the FSA pick up on these practices much sooner, why wasn’t the right measures in place?

We know at present the system failed us, question is why?

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said:

"This is absolutely shocking. It's totally unacceptable if any business in the UK is defrauding the public by passing off horse meat as beef. I expect the full force of the law to be brought down on anyone involved in this kind of activity."

And that should involved prison and seizure of assets, these people benefited through deception; therefore they should pay a heavy forfeit.

What we are finding at present, is that no one is sure quite how deep this goes, who is involved and when did this start.

The food chain for beef products is tainted, many supermarkets will lose business from customers and if there is anything good to say, it is that local butcher’s should benefit.

In the movie Soylent Green was people, today it’s horsemeat and who knows what!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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