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Endless Greed

Europe’s tainted meat scandal first erupted in January 2013, in the Republic of Ireland, it since swiftly has spread across the continent.

The scandal involved horsemeat and pork, mislabelled and being sold as beef, in Europe and in other parts of the world. In South Africa even donkey meat was sold as beef (BBC News, February 26, 2013).

It is interesting to know that serious concerns had first been aired about horsemeat with British food chiefs 18 months ago, but nothing had been done (from a report by Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper). We don’t know exactly when this food fraud started, but we know that hundreds of tonnes of tainted beef were sold across Europe and the world. In Russia the shipment of more than 20 tonnes of horsemeat sausages had been imported from the Austrian city of Linz, advertized as pork (BBC News, February 27, 2013).

International giants and combined enterprises like Italian Prima, French Spanghero, Swedish furniture retailer IKEA, Swiss Nestle, German Dreistern-Konserven, and Vossko, American Taco Bell, and BMC, UK Brake … were involved in this global fraud.

When the scandal reached Germany, the development minister Dirk Niebel shamelessly suggested that the horsemeat mislabelled as beef should be distributed to poor, he concluded: “We can’t just throw away good food.” His idea was backed by Prelate Bernard Felmberg, the senior representative of the Evangelical Church in Germany, (BBC News, February 23, 2013).

At the same time Swedish IKEA declared that its meatballs in the United Arab Emirates were in line with Islamic food regulations, and are Halal. But as the Russian agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor spokesman Alexei Alexeyenko told AFP news, the problem with contaminated meat was that it was not clear what it was made of and that old or ill animals could have been used (BBC News, February 27, 2013). As in the case of South Africa, soya and gluten were not labelled in 28% of products tested, undeclared pork in 37% and chicken in 23%, this was mostly in sausages, burger patties and deli meats, (BBC News, February 26, 2013).

Hence the problem is not that the horsemeat, pork, and even donkey meat are not edible and are not used as foods by many people around the world, or the meats were not Halal, (although gluten causes celiac disease in sensitive people). The question is: where have these meats originated from and were the animals healthy and alive before usage?

On March 8, 2013 a secretly filmed footage showed that in Poland rotten meat were used to make sausages and ham. TVN24 channel shows at one point, one worker holds up a sausage covered in green mould saying it would be cleaned, dried and re-used (BBC News, March 8, 2013). On the same day, it has emerged that more than 60 people had food poisoning at Danish Noma restaurant dubbed the world’s best eatery. Noma prides itself for its attention to detail and relying on fresh locally-sourced products (BBC news, March 8, 2013).

This scandal has uncovered how the economic interests of a handful of monopolies are put above the health and well-being of the people. This is only the tip of the iceberg in an ocean of corrupt capitalism and its last stage, monopoly capitalism. With the cover up of the governments and ignorance of the public, the prospect for future generations will be grim.

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