foodwatch launches ‘pink slime’ lawsuit against state

Foodwatchdog foodwatch launches a lawsuit against the Dutch state regarding mechanically separated meat: also known as ‘injection meat’ or ‘pink slime’. This ‘meat’ is the last remnant of muscle fibers and tendons that are removed from the bones using high water pressure. Foodwatch’s in-depth research shows that the state neglects food safety. Because the state can not make it clear which products contain mechanically separated meat (no traceability), the state violates European law (no enforcement and proper labeling), and NVWA has no people and resources to monitor and intervene if anything , which goes seriously wrong (no capacity).

This illegal behavior on the part of the Dutch state poses serious risks to the Dutch consumer because “pink slime” is prone to rapid bacterial growth that can cause serious intestinal diseases. In addition, there is a risk of fraud because the consumer does not know that he is being served the cheapest meat leftovers for which he could pay too much money. The state cannot stop ‘wrong’ or unsafe machine-separated meat, let alone address the culprits in the chain. According to foodwatch, the state is thus breaking the law (General Food Law, EC Regulation 178/2002) in order to take preventive measures against health hazards and misleading foods.

Nicole van Gemert, director of foodwatch: “Unsuspecting consumers regularly eat food that has something wrong with it. Like the latest food scandal; Salmonella in Kinder Surprise Eggs. How can the manufacturer Ferrero allow suspicious products to come out of their factory for weeks to months? Transparent food chains are therefore very important. Likewise, for machine-separated meat, we simply can not get a picture of the chain. How can the government act in a timely manner? Do you even want to take preventative measures? The state places enormous risks on the health and wallet of the Dutch consumer. This is not only a danger to public health, but the Netherlands also violates structural European legislation. For all these reasons, foodwatch is now going to court. ”

The Risks of Pink Slime

Separator meat is the amorphous pink or gray mass of meat, also known as ‘injection meat’, ‘scrape meat’ or ‘pink slime’, obtained from the carcases of slaughtered animals. Especially in poultry, sometimes pigs. Separator meat carries the necessary risks. First, a health risk: Bacteria feel at home in machine-separated meat because it is so finely ground, which means they can grow faster into dangerous numbers. Secondly, a risk of fraud: mechanically separated meat can be sold (at a more expensive price) as fresh meat or quality meat without mentioning it on the label. Finally, you also do not know what you are eating: chicken nuggets may contain meat other than chicken, which may not conform to certain beliefs or preferences.

A new poll commissioned by foodwatch shows that 74% of consumers do not know which products contain machine-separated meat. 90% have never seen it on the label, while 91% think it’s important.

failing condition

The lack of insight into machine-separated meat is not the consumer’s fault: Even NVWA and the Ministry of Health can not tell foodwatch what’s going on. The state simply has no idea who, where, how much MSM produces, processes and distributes, and how much MSM is found and consumed in the Netherlands.

  1. No traceability: No one knows which products contain mechanically separated meat and where it is produced, not even the state.
  2. No enforcement: The state does not enforce European rules (concerning the production, hygiene and labeling of mechanically separated meat) or deliberately ignores them.
  3. No capacity: NVWA’s oversight of mechanically separated meat and the meat industry is inadequate, jeopardizing food safety.

This is problematic. The greater the risk that an ingredient will make people sick, the better we need to know exactly what products it contains: no traceability, no enforcement … and therefore no food safety.

Nicole van Gemert: “We do not know which products contain machine-separated meat, so we can not check it either. The risk is higher, but the transparency is lower. That, of course, is the world upside down. And that begs for the next food scandal. ”

consumer law

As a consumer organization committed to food safety, foodwatch has for years called for better prevention of food scandals. The first foodwatch office (in Germany) was established in 2002 in response to the mad cow disease BSE. In that food scandal, the consumers concerned did not stand a chance; they could not protect themselves against it, nor could they directly retaliate against the culprits. The lack of consumer protection remains a problem for all subsequent food scandals. With the lawsuit, Foodwatch wants to guarantee that the state fulfills its obligations (General Food Law, EC Regulation 178/2002) to protect health and the interests of consumers by taking preventive measures.

A poll shows that 85% of consumers believe it is important for the foodwatch to be able to sue the state if consumers’ rights are violated, such as the right to safe food. The Food Guard urges consumers to support her in the lawsuit through a petition.

Source food clock.

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