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Swede success as 'meat glue' plans come unstuck

Swede success as 'meat glue' plans come unstuck

Published: 27 Apr 2010 14:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Apr 2010 14:11 GMT+02:00

The European Parliament's environment committee has backed a proposal drafted by Swedish MEP Åsa Westlund calling for an EU-wide ban on the controversial 'meat glue' product thrombin.

EU countries voted in February to approve the use of the enzyme, but the issue will now be decided in parliament after Westlund's resolution was approved by 31 votes in favour and 21 against.

"I am pleasantly surprised. There is now a good prospect that this will be upheld by the European Parliament as well. Consumers would then avoid being fooled," Westlund said.

Sweden voted in favour of approving the use of thrombin in early February, a decision which drew criticism from consumer groups and politicians alike who fear that consumers stand to be misled.

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

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.

Westlund's resolution argues that the use of thrombin heightens the risk of bacterial growth.

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.

"To use thrombin in meat is a way of misleading consumers, to present something as better than it actually is," Westlund said after the February decision.

Åsa Westlund has been involved in the process of developing new EU legislation covering food additives, which will come into force in the beginning of next year, and believes that thrombin would not have been approved had these new rules already been adopted.

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

The decision to approve thrombin was taken by a Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH) on February 9th. One country voted against and one abstained. All the other countries, including Sweden, voted in favour.

According to the committee decision, products containing thrombin should be clearly marked with the text "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 would not however be approved for use in commercial kitchens, a ban that Åsa Westlund argues the current legislation made easy to circumvent.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:08 April 27, 2010 by DAVID T
I like the photo's - the one on the left is pretty
16:58 April 27, 2010 by ramazama
All you selfish, insensitive, gross dead animal eaters take your next holiday visiting the slaughter houses, after which , if you have any feelings of compassion or empathy for the other living beings who also have the right to live on this planet , you would never again slaughter and eat them ,only to satisfy your selfish tongue.
17:57 April 27, 2010 by Corvinus
Next time I'm enjoying some nice foie gras I'll be thinking of you Ramazama. :) What is it with these militant vegetarians? My favourite type are the guys preaching brimstone and fire to all meat-eaters whilst strutting about in a pair of leather shoes...

On a lighter note, Ramazama, my food shits on your food (literally). Enjoy the veggies.
18:16 April 27, 2010 by Swedesmith
A study was conducted a number of years ago which showed that plants can exhibit signs of stress when they are cut up. So if plants have feelings too, what will the Ramazama types eat? Dirt?
18:59 April 27, 2010 by calebian22
Corvinus wins best concluding sentence of the day.
19:20 April 27, 2010 by uunbeliever
I guess if we believed in "intelligent design" our sharp teeth would be for cutting through the tough exteriors of peas? All the vegetarians I know are skinny, weak and cold in 17 degree weather.
19:48 April 27, 2010 by Nemesis
A ban on meat glue would be a good thing.
22:22 April 27, 2010 by DAVID T
I like meat - especially partial to the odd fur burger
22:45 April 27, 2010 by reason
Aaw, but think of the weird new dishes we could make by gluing together stacks of different kinds of meat :P
23:27 April 27, 2010 by frey
notice the increased bacteria threat. more e-coli? more deaths?
00:55 April 28, 2010 by soultraveler3
I hope they ban this stuff, it's just creepy. :p

@Ramazama

You know there have been studies showing that plants can experience pain and stress. What does that leave you with?

There's also alot of new info saying that being a veggie is worse for people and the planet than being a responsible meat-eater.

A few VERY prominent veggies have come out saying that they agree with this new info and have started to eat cruelty-free, organic, local meat.

That's what the emphasis should be on. The EU should put more money into furthering that instead of "meatglue."

Corvinus was right

Militant ethical veggies are hypocrites 90% of the time. They'll scream the eating meat is mean and wrong and that humans aren't supposed to (even though we have canines and flesh-tearing teeth) and then walk off in their leather flip-flops.

The other 10% are actually really strict with themselves and aware / educated about their lifestyle choice and do all they can to stick to it so I have to respect that.
01:46 April 28, 2010 by xenyasai
I love the collection of fallacies gathered here. Thanks for a good laugh.
11:55 April 28, 2010 by Dr. Dillner
I am left with the question, "Why would one want to glue meat together?" The answer was not made clear in the article.
11:58 April 28, 2010 by peropaco
LooooL Corvinus. That's the best kick in the balls I have ever seeing..
12:32 April 28, 2010 by Åskar
@Dr. Dillner

The reason is that when you have cut up a carcass you are left with little pieces of leftover meat that you can scrape off the bones and glue together to get a pseudo-steak.
13:25 April 28, 2010 by calebian22
mmmmmm, Spam!
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