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Meat scandal: consumer protection is vital

Mar 1, 2013, 9:45 AM

Last month tests in Ireland revealed some beef products containing horse meat and the scan sparked across many countries in Europe.

Horse meat was found in so-called beef ready-made meals and butcheries in several countries.

In the same vain, unlabelled donkey, water buffalo and goat were also reported in meat products sold in supermarkets in South Africa, just recently.

With these inhuman activities the right to one’s choice would no doubt be at risk.

We are with the firm conviction that the countries where such scandals are being reported should make more efforts to investigate the origins of such meats and to stop its circulation.

We know very well that horse or donkey meat is very much different from cow beef. However, it would be difficult for an ordinary consumer to detect it.

While there have not been any reported cases in The Gambia and the West African sub-region in general, there is no room for complacency.

We are therefore calling on the concerned authorities to take precautionary measures against this scandal, especially if they can suspend or check the importation of strange beef from the affected countries.

Consumer safety and rights to eat what one wants in terms of consumption should be a priority for our health authorities, especially for the Muslim Jammat, as both the consumption of donkey and horse meat are forbidden.

All necessary measures should be taken to ensure people don’t eat what they don’t want unknowingly.