Keep Horse Meat and Carcinogens Out of UK’s Burgers

Target: City of London Environmental Services

Goal: Encourage Britain to raise national standards on food regulation

Burgers testing positive for horse DNA were recently discovered on the shelves of  Tesco, Iceland, Lidl, Aldi and Dunnes stores – five major grocery chains in the UK.  The contaminated meat contained both horse meat and phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug for horses that is also a proven carcinogen.  During the scandal’s aftermath, the Food Standards Agency admitted that it had never carried out tests for horse meat on food sold in Britain, making it clear that better regulation is in dire need.  Request higher food testing standards in Britain so that no cancer-causing meat can penetrate the market again.

Although most pervasive in Britain, the horsemeat burgers originated in Ireland and have been traced back to a single meat production facility in that country, the Silvercrest processing plant.  Reverberations of this unsettling discovery have caused businesses to recall and destroy some 10 million burgers, and political uproar continues.  The process of weeding out which of Silvercrest’s many suppliers provided the equine content is in full swing, but the perpetrator of this criminal offense has not been identified.

As far as supermarkets go, Tesco has taken the fall as the biggest vendor involved.  A Tesco spokesperson was quoted as saying “We are urgently investigating how this product came to be on a shelf in store.” The firm has taken out newspaper ads to apologize to consumers, but the root of the problem lies within the way the UK handles its food regulation.

There is a constant push from the food industry for the government to take a more lenient ‘light-touch’ approach.  Mary Creagh, an environment secretary of Britain, embodied the opposing viewpoint of most politicians and consumers when she said, “Testing, tracking and tracing ingredients is expensive but not testing will cost retailers, processors, British farmers and consumers much more.”

The hope is that if stricter nationwide regulations on food are imposed, the economy of the food industry in all of the UK will be forced to adapt.  Consumers may have to pay more for their burgers, but they will not be ingesting carcinogens, and Britain’s food suppliers will not crumble under the weight of increased testing costs.

The food provided in stores that Britain and Ireland’s population depends upon must be tested as clean and healthy for consumption before it is brought into the homes of unsuspecting families.  Whatever expenses are levied by this undertaking cannot approach the costs of being sold cancer-causing meat products. Sign this petition and demand that the Environmental Services of London City increase its food regulation standards.


Dear City of London Environmental Services,

In light of the recent horsemeat scandal gripping Britain and its people, immediate measures must be taken to ensure the safety of meat sold in the UK.

The Food Standards agency has admitted that  before the burgers were tested positive for horse DNA, it had never carried out tests for horse meat on food sold in Britain.  In order to restore the faith of consumers in your food products, they must be thoroughly tested to ensure the absence of foreign material and harmful chemicals.  I urge you to heed the warning this incidence has been and approve the proposed motions for tougher food regulation in Britain.


[Your Name Here]

photo credit:  Sormuijai via

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