When the story first broke in the Press in January 2013
about horse meat in beefburgers, it all looked like just a little
contamination story, and not much to write home about. People do eat
horse meat, and through some negligence at a meat processing plant a
tiny amount somehow found its way into beefburgers. Or so we were
led to believe. But the whole sorry story has swiftly grown from a
minor slip-up involving mere traces to a full-blown criminal scandal
where some food products have been found to contain 100% horse meat
instead of beef. It is quite unbelievable.
It has been suggested that this is not a health issue, but horses
are not reared with human consumption in mind, and could conceivably
be pumped full of all manner of chemicals and fed all manner of
things that could themselves contain substances that might
ultimately be injurious to the human body, especially if ingested
continually over a period of time.
Fraudulent adulteration of food by substitution with a cheaper
alternative often results in the unwitting addition of harmful
substances. We could be ingesting any horrible
thing, chemical or poison that you can imagine. [NOTE - See the
'It's a bad thing whisky, especially BAD WHISKY'
, by Edward
Burns - available in our shop - which examines food and drink
adulteration in the Victorian period.]
In Scotland we have strict controls over all aspects of our food
industry. We know what goes in the food we make, and we know where
everything has come from. These controls are all too often lacking in other
countries, and we can no longer simply put our trust in a firm
handshake and hope.
If we cannot say with certainty what any imported meat product
contains then we are exposing ourselves to unknown risks that may
affect not just our
health, but the health of unborn
children and generations to come.
I would therefore suggest that the answer lies in banning all
foreign imports of meat and meat products. Scotland has quite enough animals that are
fit for human consumption. We don't need to either eat, or take,
It should come as no surprise that France, along with what seems
like every other country in the world, is involved in this whole
sad debacle. In Paris in 1872 and 1873 folk were charged with
selling pies and sausages made from the meat of cats, dogs and
murdered human beings, so god only knows what'll come our way next.
If we let it.