The U.S. should learn from Europe, demand food-labeling laws

For the past few weeks, European citizens have slowly begun to realize that some of their favorite foods have contained horse meat.
According to the New York Times, IKEA, among other companies and institutions, has pulled its “Swedish meatballs” off the market after detecting traces of horse meat in one of its servings.

About 19 countries have been affected or involved in the horse meat scandal, according to the New York Times.

As the scandal spreads across Europe like the plague, it is important to realize that the mislabeling of horse meat as bovine meat should spark change, not widespread paranoia.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I have the power or intellect to taste the difference between horse and cow.

Oftentimes, as the old saying goes, many kinds of meat taste like chicken, and it’s up for others handling the food to tell us what we are eating and what we are not.

I find that this principle applies to horse meat as well.

Many people complaining about eating horse meat didn’t complain while they were eating the tasty, delectable four-legged creature.

People only started getting angry after they realized that beef dishes contained horse DNA, which lends less credibility to their argument.

Eating horse will not kill you. In fact, it may just satisfy your insatiable hunger. Instead of being paranoid, opponents of eating horse meat should talk to their legislators and propose stricter labeling methods.

I do agree with those Europeans who are upset over the mislabeling of food.

Rather than complain and whine, though, I hope they devote their energies to helping usher in change.

Although the U.S. has not been affected by this scandal, Americans, especially Californians, should look again at the way food is currently labeled.

In November, Californians failed to pass Prop. 37, which would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods.
Rather than enact such vital legislation, Californians chose not to and are left with the blame when future genetically-modified foods go unlabeled and unnoticed.

Rather than be content that the scandal has not affected us, Americans should take it as a warning.

Too much government, especially when it comes to the handling of foods that Americans consume daily, is not a bad thing.

This far-off scandal should make those in the U.S. question where our food actually comes from and what is in it.

Do we really want to know what is in our food?

Give me a minute to finish – I’m still eating my horse burger.

Shane Newell is a sophomore journalism major and an assistant city editor for the Daily 49er. 

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