Foodwatch has launched a lawsuit against the Dutch state over mechanically separated meat: also known as “injection meat” or “pink slime”. This “flesh” is the last remnant of muscle fibers and tendons that are removed from the bones with the help of high water pressure. Foodwatch’s in-depth research shows the state is violating food safety. Because the state cannot clarify which products contain mechanically separated (untraceable) meat, the state is in breach of European law (no proper enforcement or labeling) and NVWA has no people and resources to monitor and intervene if something goes seriously wrong (no capacity) .
This illegal behavior by the Dutch state poses serious risks to the Dutch consumer, because “pink slime” is subject to rapid bacterial growth that can cause serious intestinal diseases. Moreover, there is a risk of fraud, because the consumer does not know that he is getting the cheapest leftover meat for which he can pay so much money. The state cannot stop “wrong” or unsafe mechanically separated meat, let alone treat the perpetrators in the chain. According to foodwatch, the country is breaking the law (General Food Act, EC Regulation 178/2002) to take precautionary measures against health risks and misleading foods.
Nicole Van Gemmert, Director of Foodwatch: “Unsuspecting consumers regularly eat food with something wrong. Like the recent food scandal; salmonella with Kinder Surprise eggs. How can producer Ferrero allow suspicious products out of their factories for weeks to months? So it is so important to have transparent food chains in place. Likewise for mechanically separated meat we simply can’t get a picture of the chain How can the government take action in time? Let alone take preventive measures? The state places enormous health and wallet risks on the Dutch consumer. Not only is this a public health risk, The Netherlands is also structurally in breach of European law. For all these reasons, Vudwatch is now going to court.”
Pink slime dangers
Separator meat is the amorphous pink or gray mass of meat, also known as “injection meat”, “scrap meat” or “pink slime”, obtained from the carcasses of slaughtered animals. Especially in poultry and pigs sometimes. Separator meats carry the necessary risks. First, there’s a health risk: the bacteria feels like it’s at home in MSM because it’s very soft ground, which means it can grow to dangerous numbers more quickly. Second, there is the risk of fraud: mechanically separated meat (at a higher price) can be sold as fresh or high-quality meat, without mentioning it on the label. Finally, you also do not know what you are eating: chicken nuggets may contain other meat in addition to chicken, which may not correspond to certain beliefs or preferences.
A new Foodwatch poll shows that 74% of consumers don’t know which products contain mechanically separated meat. 90% have never seen it on the label, while 91% think it is important.
The lack of insight into mechanically separated meat isn’t the consumer’s fault: Even the NVWA and the Department of Health can’t tell foodwatch what’s going on. The country simply has no idea who, where and how much MSM is produced, processed, distributed and how much MSM is present and consumed in the Netherlands.
- Untraceable: no one knows which products contain mechanically separated meat and where it is produced, not even the country.
- No enforcement: the country does not enforce or willfully ignore European regulations (regarding production, hygiene and labeling of mechanically separated meat).
- Lack of capacity: NVWA’s oversight of mechanically separated meat and meat industry is inadequate, putting food safety at risk.
This is problematic. The greater the risk that an ingredient causes people to get sick, the better we need to know which products it contains: no traceability, no enforcement … and therefore no food safety either.
Nicole van Gemmert: “We don’t know which products contain mechanically separated meat, so we can’t verify it either. The risk is higher, but the transparency is lower. This is, of course, the world upside down. And she’s asking for the next food scandal.”
Consumer Protection Law
As a consumer organization committed to food safety, Food Watch has advocated for years to better prevent food scandals. The first food control office (in Germany) was established in 2002 in response to mad cow disease, mad cow disease. In that food scandal, affected consumers didn’t stand a chance; They could not protect themselves from him, and they could not directly take revenge on the perpetrators. The lack of consumer protection continues to be a problem for all subsequent food scandals. Through the lawsuit, Food Watch wants to ensure that the state fulfills its obligations (General Food Act, EC Regulation 178/2002) to protect health and consumer interests by taking preventive action.
A survey showed that 85% of consumers believe it is important for Foodwatch to sue the state if consumer rights, such as the right to safe food, are violated. The Food Control Authority is calling on consumers to support it in the lawsuit through a petition.
Food control source.