Today’s news that horse meat was found to make up 29% of a beef burger on sale in one of our leading supermarkets raises serious questions about the traceability of our food, and the integrity of the supply chain.
The traceability of meat, beef in particular, was supposed to have been improved following the discovery of ‘mad cow disease’ in the 1990s which makes this news all the more worrying. Problems like this are the reason Labour MEPs have called for the origins of meats which go into processed products like burgers and lasagnes to be appropriately labelled. At the moment this is not a legal requirement as origin labelling only applies to cuts of meat. If companies like Tescos were forced to specify where the beef in its burgers came from, it would have much greater control over its supply chain, significantly reducing the chances of meats of unknown origin creeping into the food on its shelves.
Linda McAvan MEP
Labour Member of European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber