Student #: BUSI Section #: Sub Date: / /2013
Horsemeat is the culinary name for meat cut from a horse. It is major meat in only a few countries, notably in Central Asia, but it forms a significant part of the culinary traditions of many others such as Europe, and South America ( Topix, 2013).The top 8 horsemeat consumer countries consume about 4.7 million horses a year. For the majority of mankind’s early existence, wild horses were hunted as source of slightly sweet, tender and low fat protein. However, because of the role horses have played as companions and workers concern about the ethics of the horse slaughter process is taboo in some cultures (Topix, 2013). These historical associations, as well as ritual and religion, led to the development of the aversion to the consumption of horsemeat. Horses are now given pet status in some parts of the Western world, particularly in the United States, United Kingdome and Ireland, which further solidifies the taboo on eating its meat (Topix, 2013). Contrary, Canadians consume about 650,000 pounds of horse meat and export about 30 million pounds of it each year, with most coming from the province best known for its cattle, Alberta (Fletcher, 2013). The Europe wide spreading scandal over discoveries of horse DNA in beef labeled foods shocked not only many customers but business owners too. As a result of such discovery, the business liability and credibility were jeopardized and the income from meat products decreased dramatically. Although some people called it labeling scandal not horsemeat scandal, others raised the question of whether to trust anything that has label on it.
The horsemeat scandal began last month when the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, testing suspiciously frozen beef burgers, discovered they contained horse DNA. Since then, similar discoveries have swept across Europe, in countries such as the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway (Johnson, 2013). As detecting horse DNA in their meat products was impossible for business owners, many businesses were left with no choice but to get rid of all their meat products within the business. For instance, across Europe, prompting supermarkets in numerous countries pulled processed meat products from their shelves (Johnson, 2013). As a result of such an unpredictable situation, businesses lost profit in their overall meat products. For example, at the restaurants, some costumers joked with servers, while other shoppers avoided restaurants saying the disclosure of horsemeat was upsetting (Johnson, 2013). This scandal has impact the credibility of meat producing companies as well as the government’s industrial role in food safety. Many critics believe that because horsemeat is cheaper than beef many companies labelled horsemeat as beef to gain profit of it (Johnson, 2013). It is said that these companies violate the consumer right to know the ingredient of their food. Under the European Union rules, it is illegal to label a product beef if another type of meat is present; however, it is for the Member States and not the EU to enforce such a prohibition. Therefore, by relegating the ongoing scandal into an isolated fraud that “merely raises issues of false labeling, food quality and traceability in the EU food chain,” as European Food Safety and Authority stated on February 11, the EU has limited itself simply to launching, under the supervision of EUROPOL, a EU-wide fraud investigation (Johnson, 2013). As a result of such statement, the business owners are now obligated to deal with this scandal individually. The scandal has limited the trust of small businesses on bigger business and therefore has encourages the small business owners to purchase local meat rather than manufactured meat (Lawrence, 2013). Nevertheless, the