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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Food Fraud in US? Who Knows?

JoNel Aleccia, Staff Writer for NBC News posted an interesting article yesterday: “Horse meat in the US? Unlikely, but tests are rare.”

I have been wondering when the food fraud story going on throughout Europe surrounding passing horse meat off as beef would make it here.  Putting eating pony aside, Ms. Aleccia and I discussed that the more troubling issue for me is the likely relationship between fraud and food safety, that that certainly can extend far beyond meat.

But it’s also about trust, especially in the U.S., where many shudder at the mere thought of eating horse meat and the deception would raise even more suspicion about a company’s practices. 

“If a company is willing to commit fraud, I can’t imagine that food safety is the biggest thing on their agenda,” said Bill Marler, a Seattle lawyer and food safety expert who publishes a blog focused on the industry. 

In fact, boneless beef adulterated with horse meat — and with kangaroo — did make it to the U.S. more than 30 years ago, when mislabeled meat from Australia led to the impounding and testing of 66 million pounds of the product, according to old USDA records found and posted by Marler.

Honestly, I have no idea how often what we think we are buying is actually what we are buying.  I certainly assume so – don’t we all?