Czechs worried about Polish meat

The news that Poland exported tons of meat from illegally slaughtered sick animals to other EU states has largely disappeared from the headlines. Not so in the Czech Republic. After salmonella was detected in beef the country announced that Polish meat would be subjected to inspection in laboratories until mid-March. How will the scandal effect Poland's meat market?

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Rzeczpospolita (PL) /

Scandal won't affect meat market

Rzeczpospolita doesn't believe the scandal will harm demand:

“Until just a short while ago the beef market was considered the most stable food product market - to the extent that it was even boring to write about it. ... Of course this boredom ended with the investigative television programme 'Superwizjer' [Supervisor] and the indignation of 15 European countries to which beef from the Kalinów slaughterhouse had been exported. The fear was that the scandal would have a lasting impact on meat exports. There's no sign of that however: according to forecasts the price for March beef exports is set to sink by 3.6 percent on average compared with January levels, while May beef will only be 3 percent cheaper.”

Večer (SI) /

EU also to blame for low-quality food

EU policies bear a large responsibility for such scandals, Večer believes:

“With the help of their lobby and a lot of money, food companies make sure that the regulations passed in Brussels are only superficially animal and environmentally friendly. Food is cheaper than ever - also because the food industry is in fact a chemicals industry. It goes without saying that contents are replaced through various tricks such as artificial flavours and flavour enhancers. ... The handful of companies that control the food market will continue to rake in profits, also aided by the EU's common agricultural policy. Because it focuses on doling out farm subsidies rather than the production of quality food at a fair price.”

La Croix (FR) /

Still more controls, still more sanctions

Consumers need to be able to rely on labels and quality standards, La Croix insists:

“There is no need for panic. Food safety has improved with scientific progress, new regulations and stricter controls. ... We look at our plates and insist on a balanced diet (not too much fat or sugar, enough fruit and vegetables...). And we're right. But our personal vigilance will never be enough. It must be complemented by real traceability and by effective controls. Too many products are still sold under misleading labels. We need (better) controls and (more) punishments.”