We need an organisation to ensure food safety

Europe’s latest food scandal has widened after the European commission announced that a total of 15 EU states, plus Switzerland and Hong Kong, are now known to have received egg products contaminated by an insecticide harmful to human health.

Wonder where we can find one?

20 thoughts on “We need an organisation to ensure food safety”

  1. You could try the Chinese government.

    Because, of course, they never have any food safety issues at all, and they detect all potential issues before any product gets to the public. The fact that every shop in the border area of Hong Kong sells nothing but baby milk is alternative. [/irony]

    Indeed, the deterrent of executing people for contaminating food in China still isn’t effective enough to stop it.

    Your argument is like saying we shouldn’t bother with police because they are unable to prevent all murders.

  2. “through a source in Romania”: ‘Romanian’ is often a euphemism for Roma. It’s therefore confusing when it might conceivably be being used literally.

    (Roma is used mostly as a euphemism itself, isn’t it? Or is that ‘traveller’? It’s so hard to keep up.).

  3. We shouldn’t bother with “police” Biggie.

    Where “police” are state owned costumed thugs.

    Some sort of help for the less capable in dealing with potential violence IS of value. But that is a vanishingly small amount of the antics that the po–lice involve themselves in.

  4. On past form the EU will probably end up banning the insecticide rather than the process whereby the contamination occurred.

  5. ‘The EU countries known to be affected by the scandal are Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Sweden, Britain, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Denmark.’

    Not affected by fipronil . . . affected by the scandal.

    Studies show little effect on rats, even after long term consumption of fipronil.

    You can go to the store and buy some. ‘There are more than 50 registered products that contain fipronil.’ – NPIC

    EU, and Guardian, chemophobia. Driving up the cost of goods, for no good reason, for 50 years.

  6. Gamecock, you are missing the point.

    It’s (for whatever reason) illegal to use this on chicken farms. Thus it should not be found in chickens, or chicken products, in anything greater than homoeopathic concentrations (and that due to accidental cross-contamination, being downwind of a fipronil factory perhaps). It is present in greater than such concentrations, so there is a problem and some people are breaking the law – some of them probably with intent.

    Even the “EUSSR” acknowledges that there is basically zero public health issue.

  7. @JuliaM, August 12, 2017 at 7:40 am

    And you’d die of constipation long before that happened!

    Hard boiled eggs – as in sandwich filling where these eggs were used – can lead to diarrhoea in many people.

  8. @Bloke in Germany, August 12, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    As Interested, August 12, 2017 at 4:44 pm asked:

    If “EUSSR” state the low amounts of fipronil in the eggs are a zero public health issue why is it against the law?

  9. LMGTFY.

    Because it’s toxic to bees, thus using it out in the open or agriculturally in general is at least hugely restricted.

  10. Bloke in North Dorset

    I thought the point here was that the EU regulations had failed. It doesn’t matter that what they were regulating wasn’t dangerous because next time it could be something that kills.

    The second point is the EU’s response, which is likely to be more expensive regulation which can more likely to fail because as the buck is passed, rather than better regulation.

  11. BiND,

    In the same way that the law against murder has failed.
    What will happen if you decriminalise murder?

  12. BiG, the logical extension of your idea is that everyone should be locked up to stop the possibility of murder. Or is it, because you say that executing people in China is not enough to stop food contamination. Is there any evidence that fipronil is bad for bees or is this yet another EU non- issue like climate change or NOX emissions?

  13. @Bloke in Germany, August 13, 2017 at 8:26 am

    Because it’s (fipronil) toxic to bees

    Bees have suddenly evolved and now eat hen eggs rather than nectar?


    Strange that bee, wasp, fly, lady-bird, green-fly, white-fly, spider etc were abundant until EU started “protecting” them.

  14. @Diogenes,
    The obvious solution is to have laws, proportionate attempts to enforce them, and accept that some people will still break them. In other words, something approximating to the status quo for the last few hundred years of civilisation.

    The libertarian free for all, (in which the customer cannot test their food for 50,000 potential poisons but has to bear the consequences of their being there) is no more a solution than the communist state control of everything at the other extreme.

    Chickens don’t eat their own litter either, but still managed to absorb enough of the stuff in large enough numbers for long enough for some eggs, contaminated at >limit value, to end up among the minuscule proportion that got tested for this particular obscure chemical. Chemicals applied to places you want them unfortunately have a habit of getting to places where you don’t want them and in some cases they can do harm. That externality needs addressing somehow.

    As for the idiotic comment about insects, of course the availability of pesticides has remained totally unchanged since the Treaty of Rome, there has been no innovation or increase in use whatsoever.

  15. Hey BiG I like the way you think. Except when it comes to libertarians. Say that you were living in a Grenfell that burned down and the whole lot of you were put in a sort of refugee camp. Voluntarily you would organise water, power and sanitation services, and perhaps a police force if a rowdy element started making life miserable for the others. If some nutter insisted that all food brought into the camp be tested for the presence of any of 50,000 toxins, you would ignore that person. You might very well approve testing for a few toxins such as e-coli and salmonella. The happy campers would be unlikely to approve of a setup where half the adults had jobs bringing money into the camp, and the other half had jobs creating and enforcing regulations, not because those regulations were necessary, but because you wanted to keep them busy. Does this sound reasonable? Congratulations. You have just become a libertarian.

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