Retailers respond to allegations of mislabelled meat


I am not a particularly squeamish person and quite an adventurous eater, but when I eat donkey I would like to know that I am eating donkey. So, I was quite disturbed when I watched the meat mislabelling scandal unfold. This is the most informative article which I found, courtesy of IOL. It contains statements by all the big retailers that their products are all correctly labelled. This raises an interesting point - it is not only the producer who is responsible to ensure that products are properly labelled. In fact, the Consumer Protection Act provides that a retailer (that is the person who sells directly to the consumer) must not 'supply any particular goods if the retailer knows, reasonably could determine or has reason to suspect that' a label 'applied to those goods is likely to mislead the consumer' (see section 23(3)(a)). The big retailers all indicated that they conduct spot DNA testing to ensure that labels are accurate. Good for them. However, I can't help but feel sorry for the small retailers and deli's who can't afford to do spot testing. I suppose that they must take care to choose ethical suppliers who are willing to undertake that their labels are correct. Not easy. Another example of how consumer regulation is not a zero-sum game.