Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Horse meat in Europe, continuing...

The European scandal over mis-labeled horse meat also reveals something about the cultural variation concerning horses as food, which plays into discussions about the common market...: Recipe for Divided Europe: Add Horse, Then Stir

"the horse meat scandal has brought into the open the deep divisions, cultural and otherwise, that bedevil the European Union. A meat that nearly all Britons consider revolting, for example, is cherished as a protein-rich delight by a small but loyal minority in places like Belgium, the home of the European Union’s Brussels bureaucracy and Europe’s biggest per capita consumer of horse meat. (Italy, with its larger population, eats the most horse over all.)

"For a surging camp of so-called Euroskeptics in Britain, the fact that horse meat has entered the food chain through a host of middlemen and factories scattered across the Continent stands as proof of unbridgeable cultural chasms that, in their view, make the European Union unworkable."
"It has also led a growing number of European food producers and stores to seek shelter in patriotism by assuring consumers that their meat comes entirely from within their own country’s borders. ...

"Growing calls for mandatory “country of origin” labeling on all processed meats sold in Europe have stirred concern in Brussels about a surge in what Mr. Borg, the health and consumer affairs commissioner, has called “veiled protectionism.” Until now, only unprocessed meat had to identify its place of origin.

The Germans are saying we are only going to eat German products. The French are saying the same for French products. What happened to the common market? This is really serious,” said Françoise GrossetĂȘte, a French member of the European Parliament."

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