EU rejects 'meat glue'

19 May 2010

EU rejects 'meat glue'

At Wednesday's session of the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg, MEPs voted by a majority of 370 to 262 to reject the use of 'meat glue'. Meat glue is the name given to the enzyme trombine, used by the meat industry in the processing of offcuts into such products as hamburgers or sausages. The glue is also used to hold meat offcuts together in a way which enables the final product to be sold as a new piece of meat. SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard sees this as deception. "Anyone who attempts to sell a steak under the description 'bound meat pieces' is being deliberately misleading. Nobody is likely to understand this label, and in a restaurant the meat doesn't carry a label, and you're never going to be able to monitor the catering industry on this point. Food health inspectors have got better things to do."

Kartika LiotardBacteria
Trombine doesn't only stick pieces of meat together, it also makes it easier for bacteria to attach themselves. “So also on the level of food safety I'd rather not have this stuff around," says Liotard, who is the European Parliament's contact person for the European Food Safety Authority. "And the argument that it is wasteful to leave offcuts unprocessed hardly stands up to scrutiny. Aren't these already processed without meat glue, into meat balls for example? In Strasbourg the European Parliament made mincemeat of this argument of the right wing parties."

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