British red meat industry responds to Horsegate

The English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) says that when we in Britain buy red meat, we can know that it isn’t horsemeat.

EBLEX saya that we can rely on the Red Tractor label and the Quality Standard Mark. Here’s what some of the labels mean. You might choose to follow my ‘food quality’ and ‘meat’ tags for more about this.

I think there’s an elephant in the room here. (Pun intended.) It seems that if you want to buy red meat in Britain and you want to avoid horsemeat, you have to choose the more expensive meats. Not necessarily the best cuts from the carcase, but not the budget products either.

These are harder economic times than we’ve become used to. We British have become cautious about spending money on food, as Amelia Hill in the Guardian explains. Perhaps we’ve become too cautious about our grocery spending. Perhaps that’s part of why Horsegate has happened.

I might get accused of snobbery for mentioning this. But it’s true: if you buy cheap meat, you’re taking a risk as to what’s in the packet.


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
This entry was posted in food and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to British red meat industry responds to Horsegate

  1. EqFe says:

    What percentage of the meet bearing these certification labels has actually been inspected by the organisations that are giving their approval? The responsible regulatory bodies presumably gave their approval and that was meaningless.

    • argylesock says:

      Regulations are worth only so much as their enforcement.

      Following the links in my post, I find that EBLEX says, ‘We all want to know that the food we are buying is safe and this only comes from knowing where the raw ingredients come from and the standards to which they are produced, which is why all suppliers in the Red Tractor food chain are inspected and certified by an independent professional body. The Red Tractor certifies that food has been produced to independently inspected standards right across the food chain – from farm to pack.’

      I find also that the QSM Operating Guide is at

  2. EqFe says:

    I can’t read the link on my phone, I know the groups certify that they Inspect, the process etc for the food that bears their label but I don’t know that would give me more confidence than food supposedly inspected by the regulators. I don’t know who to trust anymore.

  3. Pingback: Paterson pauses on pesticides. Sorry bees, we’ll let you know in a while | Science on the Land

  4. Pingback: Will this be another food scare? Meat is sold from cattle with tuberculosis | Science on the Land

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s