by Jason Moore

A FTER the BSE or Mad Cow crisis more than decade ago European governments agreed that there would be stringent food tests across the European Union. These so-called stringent tests failed to spot that a considerable number of “frozen ready meals” contained horse meat rather than beef. Only now that vigorous testing is taking place is the full extent of the scandal coming to light. I find it an outrageous state of affairs and so far the response by many European governments has been slow. The British government is talking of a “criminal conspiracy.” It is also a sign of the times that Romanian meat is being used in frozen ready meals made in France and then shipped to Britain. Whatever happened to British farmers providing for most of Britain's needs? Obviously, the key to this whole scandal is cost. Producing ready meals with British beef would cost far more than importing meat from other parts of Europe. This whole horse meat scandal is an eye-opener and I sincerely hope that it will lead to increased checks. I also hope that British supermarkets will start turning to British farmers to supply them with their meat because I know for a fact the tests are extremely tough. Sometimes it is better to pay slightly more to ensure good quality than paying less for cheaper foreign imports. There is an important lesson to be learnt from this whole affair and so far the politicians or even the supermarkets are missing the point. It needs to be sorted out.