The real horsemeat scandal: supermarkets got off scot free

The following is an excerpt from an article published in the aftermath of the horse meat scandal that erupted earlier this year. This article focuses on who was punished and who was not. Why is this important to horses? Supermarkets will continue to put horse meat products on the shelves, mislabeling it as whatever they want, deceiving the public, putting innocent horses at risk. Horses will continue to meet a brutal end in a murderous masquerade with their meat.

Fund for Horses Members: A Special Report on the horse meat scandal, slaughter and our Horse Meat is Ugly campaign, will be published just for you this weekend.

The Daily Mail

Frozen lasagna labeled made with meat found to be 100% horse meat. ITV image.
Frozen lasagna labeled made with meat found to be 100% horse meat. ITV image.

At the height of the crisis, Tesco — Britain’s biggest food retailer — was found to be selling value beefburgers that contained an alarming 29 per cent horsemeat when subjected to DNA tests.

Soon after the horsemeat scandal, the internet was awash with jokes about ‘Shergar-burgers’ and an ‘unbridled PR disaster’.

One wag came up with the line: ‘My daughter has always wanted a pony, so I’m buying her a Tesco quarter-pounder for her birthday.’

Now, six months after the worst scandal in the history of our supermarkets, the biggest joke of all has emerged. And it is the shops and food manufacturers that are having the last laugh.

The big stores and food suppliers that, for years, have let horse, donkey, pork and who-knows-what other foreign substances into cheap burgers and ready meals have been told what penalty they will face. The answer is precisely none. No prosecution, no fines, not even any new regulation to prevent them pulling the same revolting stunt again.

In February, when David Cameron told the Commons that the horsemeat scandal was ‘appalling’ and ‘completely unacceptable’ and promised ‘the full intervention of the law’, some of us dared hope that the supermarkets would face penalties for their part in the proceedings.

Six months on and the result of that prime ministerial pledge is that one small meat producer based near Aberystwyth, who appears never to have missold horsemeat, has been unjustly driven out of business. He is now suing the police.

The supermarkets, meanwhile, have got off scot-free.

But with no penalty — not even a slap on the wrist — you can be certain that dodgy meat will go on turning up in burgers, cheap chicken fed on animal proteins will fill the freezer cabinets and Vietnamese catfish will be passed off as North Atlantic cod.

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2 thoughts on “The real horsemeat scandal: supermarkets got off scot free”

  1. This sounds a lot like what is going on in the US with China now selling frozen pond raised catfish in US supermarkets. The USDA only checks about 4% of the fish coming into the US. This is putting the US pond raised catfish in the Southern states out of business. Their prices are higher but at least you won’t be eating fish fed human waste unlike the clean food pellets the US fish get. The fish from China and the other Asian countries are mislabeled as to what kind of fish it is, it is sold in all of the restaurants. I only buy fish from Alaskan waters since I live in Washington state it is always available. I think most of the restaurants here do too.


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