Ikea and Horsemeat
I understand that transparency regarding what's in food is very important, particularly regarding issues like allergies. However - I kind of get the feeling that lots of the fuss with horse meat is definitely more a mental "ew" than much of anything else.
Horsemeat is legal in many countries here. France for example. And it is not bad as meat: Somewhat sweet, compared to beef.
The problem here is the " means and method " of how it got into the food system. Which is by stealth, deception, and given the blackmarket fortunes to be made, outright fraud.
Further comes the concern regarding disease and the use of antibotics, or your mental "ew " concern. Regulated horsemeat legally sold and processed in Europe comes with a " passport " for each horse detailing the complete medical history of each animal.
In the current and growing scandal, none of this was done. No one knows the medical history of the animals, antibiotics included. Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA), also known as “Swamp Fever" is one very valid concern. I won't detail into it but if you read about it you can project and envision why.
The DNA tests of the meat products only show that horsemeat is present. But with no passport, there is no mediacl history.
I am glad they caught onto it when they did. It shows one problem within the EU regarding border, health and food inspections. If it had be properly regulated, controlled and reported as horsemeat on the packages, I would not have a problem with it. But a few Euros change hands, records and documentation are then subsequently altered, and when no one got caught, perhaps for years, the problem spread.
I do have problem with the tonnage of destroyed food that could have fed people going hungry ( and they exist here in Europe ). It was was probably safe, but embarassed authorities and panicked store employees pulled the packages and disposed of them in the trash.
Apparently, according to the cartoon, you can't believe what is printed on the package label anymore.
according to the French health authorities, the meat that came from the Romanian abattoires was legal and properly labeled on the cartons and on the invoices.
The switcheroo was engineered at Spanghero, and furthered by Comigel, who "self-blinded" by not running tests on the shipments.
This is another view of the horsemeat scandal/issue (http://www.slate.com/blogs/quora/2013...).
Clearly having unregulated meat is problematic for all of the reasons you listed. But what the Slate article details is probably more of the issue regarding the expectation of cheap food - especially cheap meat.
I guess one blessing about the Taco Bell "not enough meat to be called meat" issue was that the filler was mostly soy protein.
Apparently some of those horses were sold for as little as $50 apiece. I find it hard to believe that these beasts would satisfy the food safety regulations in most countries.
Here in Switzerland we have our own scandal. Traces of pork have been found in the meat being sold for halal kababs.
I wonder how this news has impacted the small Swedish food stores inside each IKEA. All products not just the meat sold.