Proper labeling should be beef industry’s main concern
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 01:02
Over the past year the beef industry has been under intense scrutiny over reports that its products were not properly labeled in conjunction with the ingredients distributed.
The controversy grew when some markets were forced to recall beef products after traces of horse DNA were found in some of the world’s largest food brands’ manufacturing plants in Europe.
The stampede of recent accusations of the beef industry has brought up a distinct type of paranoia that is unique to the food business. Whenever there is a development of any kind related to food production, it sends the world into a panic that is usually unnecessary.
There is a widespread fear that the beef industry could be feeding us all types of unknown and unsafe products, when in reality, such a problem does not exist.
This is not to say the food industry should not be inspected or even scrutinized on a regular basis. But scenarios such as the notable “horsegate” are not going to cause any health problems.
The only real issues regarding horse meat and pink-slime are that the final products were not properly labeled.
Concerns should not have been about whether horse meat is unsafe to consume, but rather that the consumers thought they were consuming 100 percent beef. Because it is not socially accepted to eat horse meat in that region of Europe, a simple logistical mistake turned into uproar and overly-sarcastic banter on social networks.
One thing that everyone needs to remember is that the world agriculture market is a complex and multifaceted machine. Between the farming, slaughtering, processing, packaging, shipping, selling and cooking — and some times freezing and shipping again — of all of the world’s sustenance needs, there is a controlled chaos in the process that takes a considerable amount of planning.
Amid the logistical furlongs that the beef industry has to hurdle, is the delicate process of inspecting and testing every product for any actually dangerous additions to the food supply from every manufacturer in the world. It does not make sense for society to be so upset with the beef industry when there is not an actual health concern involved.