• Sweden edition
 

'Meat glue' approval draws criticism

Published: 10 Feb 2010 10:07 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Feb 2010 10:07 GMT+01:00

"We do not want this at all - it is meat make-up," said Jan Bertoft at the Swedish Consumer's Association (Sveriges Konsumenter).

Thrombin is a coagulation protein which together with the fibrous protein fibrin can be used to develop a "meat glue" enzyme that can be used for sticking together different pieces of meat.

EU countries voted to approve the use of the enzyme on Monday.

Despite clear labelling of meat products, there remains a concern that consumers will be fooled as it is not clear from the appearance of the product whether it is constructed from different pieces of meat or not.

The additive can for example be used to put together small parts of pork tenderloin to make the product look like a whole fillet.

"The problem is that it looks like real meat. It is the dishonesty in it that makes us think that it is not okay," Bertoft said.

The approval of thrombin has also come in for criticism from some Swedish politicians.

"To use Thrombin in meat is a way of misleading consumers, to present something as better than it actually is," said Åsa Westlund, a Social Democrat MEP.

Westlund has been involved in the process to develop new EU legislation covering food additives which will come into force in the beginning of next year.

"If it had been in force today, then this would not have been allowed. That is my view," she said.

But Gunilla Henrysdotter at the Swedish National Food Administration (Livsmedelsverket) argues that it is not for certain that the new legislation would have rendered thrombin illegal.

"It would be approved in the future as well," she said.

The decision to approve thrombin was taken by a Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) on Monday. One country voted against and one abstained. All the other countries, including Sweden, voted in favour.

The most important issue raised by Sweden was the proper labelling of products containing thrombin, according to Evelyn Jansson-Elfberg at the Food Administration.

"There is no danger in eating it, but the risk is that the customer will pay an excessively high price. It is the misleading aspect of it all that we have reacted against," she said.

Sweden, and several other countries, have thus argued that thrombin should be classed as a food additive instead of a processing aid.

This line of reasoning was accepted and means that thrombin will only be able to be used in products in which its content its clearly declared.

The products will read "composite meat product."

Thrombin can be made from blood taken from either cows or pigs, and this information must also be clearly shown.

Products containing thrombin will not however be approved for use in commercial kitchens.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:57 February 10, 2010 by byke
Yuck !
11:47 February 10, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
Ok, if "meat glue" has not been legal to use until now, then how the hell do they make the so called "meat" that all the kebab shops in Sweden use on their spits? It looks like a big tube of spam and nothing like real meat.

I guess it must be compacted leftover rubbish.

I miss seeing real meat rotating around a spit.

The quality of food in Sweden is pretty poor unless you go to top restarunts or the upmarket grocers or butchers. The last thing we need is more cr@p food at Ica, Konsum et all.
11:50 February 10, 2010 by Mb 65
There is no danger in eating it. How do they know when most probably it has only been tested on rats. They need to get rid of the EU all they do is make stupid laws and invent anything that will bring in more tax. How much are these company's giving the EU to allow all these additives to be used. Look what they have done to the economy of Europe. I cannot believe that Sweden voted for this.
12:13 February 10, 2010 by V8farty
I've been known to stick a sausage to a couple of scotch eggs. - Just for a laugh like...
12:37 February 10, 2010 by flintis
Mb65 I like that, save billions & scrap the EU, get rid of all those has been politicians, morons and hangers on in Brussels & Strasbourg.
13:10 February 10, 2010 by Bensonradar
"Products containing thrombin will not however be approved for use in commercial kitchens."

Does this mean it is banned in restaurants?
13:57 February 10, 2010 by calebian22
"composite meat product"

mmmmm delicious!
14:07 February 10, 2010 by byke
Sounds like pedigree chum
14:36 February 10, 2010 by Jenta
lol @V8farty, you smutty perv!
15:35 February 10, 2010 by Puffin
The idea that it is to be banned in restaurants and will be clearly marked - but how would we ever know given the recent food labelling scandals?

It sounds like this decision will make it legal to con the consumer into paying 100s of kronor for a 'fillet' made of meat scraps that before this law would have been sold cheaply as minced meat
15:59 February 10, 2010 by McChatter
Who's going to make the biggest Swedish meatball then? No entries under 100 kg.! LOL
16:10 February 10, 2010 by ATT
Like our meat was not artifitual enough!

In you are intersted in this topic go to fora.tv and check: Michael Pollan on Food Rules: An Eater's Manual.

Also interesting the google talk by Daphne Miller on her book called the jungle effect.
16:14 February 10, 2010 by GefleFrequentFlyer
"To use Thrombin in meat is a way of misleading consumers, to present something as better than it actually is," said Åsa Westlund, a Social Democrat MEP.

Asa, sadly, Sweden is not known as the authority on quality meat, so therefore assigning your "grades" of quality is really a nonissue on a broader scale. Enjoy your sliced up worn out dairy cow steak.
03:38 February 11, 2010 by Davey-jo
So they sweep the butchery floor and take all the bits to a large pot and throw in some thrombin and out comes a Mcdonalds with fries to go ...;}
04:02 February 11, 2010 by soultraveler3
This sounds so disgusting. /yuck!

Sweden doesn't have the greatest meat in most store anyways. Glued together meat is wrong on so many levels. :(

I'm glad we have a local meat farmer here who runs his own organic butcher shop.
09:41 February 11, 2010 by krigeren
This confirms it. The only meat I will eat now is what I kill. When my freezer is empty I go vegetarian until next hunting season.
11:16 February 11, 2010 by Audrian
Why is it necessary to glue meat pieces. Probably to make meat producers to charge higher. I think Money is written all over this regulation. This is what I think the public should demand>

(1) The package containing glued meat should be shown show in big lebels that the meat is glued; and

(2) consumers henceforth boycott glued meat.
11:29 February 11, 2010 by Tennin
Yum yum all natural meat glue, nothing like buying a piece of steak or fläskfilet that used to be just scrap meat chunks. Mmmm Mmmm good. I wonder if we get to pay the same high prices for the glued meat steaks as the normal soild whole chunk of steak?
12:49 February 11, 2010 by glamshek
Let them use it and kill the people by use of it. They are not interested in people's health. All they see is 'money' , this materialistic society. Ah
18:54 February 11, 2010 by free range cheese
It can't be any worse than lutefisk.
07:47 February 12, 2010 by karex
@geflefrequentflyer

Low quality meat in Sweden? And just what are you comparing the Sweidish meat to? If you are comparing to American beef, I can agree with you on the flavor side, but not on the health and nutrition aspect. They pump so much hormones to fatten up the cattle in the US that the people who eat the beef end up being obese as a result. I have no scientific proof, but am 100% convinced that the American obesity epidemic (yes I consider obesity an epidemic in the US) is caused by the unseen crap they add while processing their food and not so much bad eating habits as many people like to think. Just cook a pound of ground beef in the US and count the number of times you have to drain the floating fat out of it before you can add the remaining ingredients...

You are what you eat. What effect is this glue thing going to have on our metabolism?

And how in the world do they propose to enforce the "not allowed in restaurants" rule? Will they place a kitchen marshal inside each establishment? Or are the politicians naive enough to assume that restaurant owners won't pass jigsaw-puzzled beef off as tenderloin to make a nifty profit?
13:06 February 12, 2010 by Audrian
Where did this stupid idea came from? Is it possible to know what type of meat is glued together to cheat consumer into buying undesirable product? I smell evil here? we were told cigartatee had no side effect for several decades. I think consumers should boycottee foodstores that sell glued meat.
17:50 February 12, 2010 by ThureWallenberg
Swedish meat is disgusting enough already. Sales are rule through an oligapole which sells rubbish at high prices.

I eat Swedish meat as seldom as possible. They have a meat sludge which is spiced up and called falukorv. No wonder the Swedes look like bean poles.
06:13 February 13, 2010 by Nordicreb
@karex: I think what geflefrequentflyer is referring to is that Swedish beef comes from dairy cows, while U.S. beef comes from real beef cattle. The difference in texture and flavor is distinct.

The hormone problem you mention is big and something that the U.S. still needs to address. If you can afford it, though, there are plenty of cattle farms over here that sell non-hormone treated meat.
09:39 February 13, 2010 by johnnyrebel
Just shut up and eat.
09:49 February 13, 2010 by glamshek
Lol Jonny why do you want to shut people up for this kind of meat to be eaten?
Today's headlines
Sweden nags Norway on terror alert tactics
Terrorism expert Ranstorp and a policeman in Norway. Photos: TT

Sweden nags Norway on terror alert tactics

A Swedish terrorism expert has come forward criticizing the way Norway has handled its recent terror threat, saying the day the threat began was a "total intelligence failure". READ  

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

Swedish nurse reported for patient 'death wave'

A nurse in southern Sweden has been reported for abuse at a senior care centre after she allegedly waved to a colleague with the hand of a recently-dead resident. READ  

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo
Plopp and Polly, the offspring of Pandora the panda. Photo: Kolmården

Pandas Plopp and Polly born in Swedish zoo

A pair of red panda cubs have been born in central Sweden, a wildlife park announced on Monday. READ  

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

Green Party ranked 'most gay friendly' in Sweden

The Green Party's views are 88.6 percent "LGBT-friendly", a Swedish LGBT rights group claimed on Monday, making the Greens the most gay-friendly of all Sweden's parliamentary parties. READ  

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife
Police on the scene. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Man held on suspicion of murdering wife

Updated: Police arrested a man in Copenhagen on the suspicion of killing his wife, whose body was found at the couple's home in southern Sweden during the weekend. READ  

Arlanda, Stockholm
Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Lightning bolt grounds flight to New York

Swedes bound for New York learned on Monday morning that their plane had been cancelled after it was hit by lightning during Sunday's thunderstorm. READ  

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

Elderly Swedish man stripped of his 35 cats

The County Administrative Board of Skåne has decided to confiscate the 35 cats of an 81-year-old man who was forbidden from having more than nine of the furry felines. READ  

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew
Photo: TT

Wild weather set to strike Sweden anew

With Sunday's thunderstorm reported as the worst of the year so far, Sweden is bracing for round two on Monday as meteorologists predict more of the same. READ  

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high

Last year 1,600 people in Sweden took their own lives - and for Swedes aged 15 to 24, the numbers haven't been so high since 1989. READ  

Floods replace Swedish heatwave
The Viking Lines ferry pictured was ripped away from the dock as a result of the storm. Per Gustavsson / TT

Floods replace Swedish heatwave

The Swedish summer was washed away on Sunday as thunderstorms caused chaos in Stockholm, including torrents of water flooding down stairways at metro stations. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Gallery
Top ten Swedish taboos
Society
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
Politics
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Society
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »

 

24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

 
 
 
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
National
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
Society
What's On in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching July 23
National
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
Gallery
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Society
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Gallery
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Tech
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
Lifestyle
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching July 15-16
Photo: Ola Ericson/Image Bank Sweden
Society
What's On in Sweden
Photo: Lisa Mikulski
National
Hope springs eternal for expat pet shop owner
Gallery
Princess Estelle steals limelight at mum's birthday
National
Swedes risk infants' lives by covering up prams
National
Swede runs for office just using Bitcoin funds
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

738
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se