Horsemeat: Labelling is the key

Dear poor old dobbin, maligned, sometimes misunderstood, sometimes loved dearly, raced for gain then discarded into the knackers yard, poor old thing.

Our French friends are believed to consume horse meat, yes it’s true I have first hand knowledge of a delicious meat and wine pie, with all the trimmings.

Why do we now have all this soul searching, we throw our hands up in horror at the thought of eating the animal that we ride on, pulls a cart, or races around York racecourse. What is the problem? For those of a certain age during and after World War Two horse meat, whale meat and seal meat was on offer. On Vicar Lane in Leeds two shops did sell whale and seal, in the market horse meat was sold as fit for human consumption, offal and lights for dogs and cats was separated from human fodder by a piece of timber. Health and safety?

Naturally we can see the problem associated with cheap food, it has to be adulterated, most of our food at one time or another has been subject to ‘additives’ another word for ‘adulteration’. But if the word ‘horse meat’ appeared on a supermarket wrapper would we buy it? Of course not, so hide the description away somewhere like ‘minced meat’. It is still meat, so who cares?

We have been eating modified food for the past 70-80 years scientists have always found a way to increase food output. If we require cheap food then we have to accept that a certain modification to the food chain has to be accepted. But let us have correct labelling if it contains anything other than what is prominently displayed on any packaging, do not hide other additions by using obtuse language, or very brief capitals ie MEM (mechanically extracted meat).

Bob Marshall

Elmville Avenue