VEGA News Item

Horsemeat and Other Food Factors - 19/02/2013

We are sorry that our work on the sources of food and the transport and trade in food animals has so far been overlooked in the studies connected with horsemeat.
We have investigated the competence of the present investigators eg the veterinary profession and the animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA for help in this quest but they lack the technologies for specialised functions for epidemiologists, zoologists, palaeontologists, biologists and historical and religious authorities involved with processes in meat and dairy products.

The special celebrations affect our influence in the international issues of trade in meat and dairy produce, and the vast distances that animals are travelling across the globe, which allows for plenty of failures as well as stresses and strains on the animals in transit, in cramped conditions, as well as meat.

We have first to establish the species of animals under consideration, the beef and dairy cattle, deer, donkeys and the other animals that yield products such as gelatine, and the offals that are spread across the fields as fertilisers. That implies other species as well, eg pigs and sheep and internationally animals such as camels which are used in some countries as meat (and travellers from those countries may come to Britain). Bush meat has been recognised in illicit imports into Britain and is much sort after by certain communities, and signs of a renewed trade in illicit smoking substances have also been observed.

These questions also require a great amount of knowledge about immune systems which are almost un-investigated for their long-term effects – eg BSE, Schmallenburg Virus, SARS, Foot and Mouth Disease, Avian Influenza, Bovine TB, West Nile Virus, diseases spread by Culicoides midges such as African Horse Sickness and Bluetongue Virus and so on, when they cannot be recognised as absent after many years.

Smallpox is regarded as stamped out, except in laboratories and does not cause a threat. We have not regarded BSE as finished and neither can we for others in this list. They would be heightened in the cargos and consignments of edible meat (including fish and birds) in transit and subject to much cruelty and ill-treatment. People living fairly long between generations exchange genetic material somewhat more slowly that their pets such as cats and dogs with shorter generational gaps. For example most species contrast with Bedlington Terriers with respect to their vulnerability to copper toxicosis.

Smallpox virus was brought on, it is thought, as a result of World War II and repatriation of large numbers of prisoners and troops making a formidable traffic in live animals (human beings) and similar migrations probably responsible for diseases such as Crohn’s Disease, Johne’s Disease, Tropical Sprue and others.

Britain’s exports also lead to uncertainty and possible rejection for they comprise heavily of spirits, drinks, biscuits and cakes, which are unreliable factors in a starving world and contribute little to the essential commodities. We can speculate that there are various factors, eg Africans have a large slaughterhouse in Botswana paid for with European money and which could be introduced for the processing of animals such as wilderbeast in the rush of animals to watering areas but intercepted by fences intended for such wild animals and those intensively reared and fed on maize from neighbouring countries. This would have prima facie advantages in the case of food shortages but are objectionable on the grounds of cruelty and waste of resources when time may be short for other reasons. Bush meat has been on sale at Smithfield Market on occasion and may comprise animals other than horses and cattle.

These comments would apply for new sources of meats for which certificates for live animals at slaughter or breeding are available and for treatments with non-therapeutic drugs eg growth promoters and medications and unlicensed food additives used for food colouring purposes.

It is therefore quite possible that the lack of suspect materials at low levels may cause small quantities in large dilutions in foods that vegans and people interested in the wellbeing of people, animals, the environment and wildlife, become contaminated after the particular substances change their shape or form, or through genetic mutations. For example in India, the movement of people is considerable, for example Ashkenazi Jews, Indians, students and workers with special needs, such as oriental people migrating to Europe and the USA in search of medical and human training but with a basic weakness, for example susceptibility to cardiac diseases from dietary causes. Many such people stay in the country they migrate to and then disadvantage the contribution they might make in their local country.

Perhaps it would be pertinent to ask why the Neanderthals became extinct. The food industry must find an answer to this and other perplexing questions for which they can offer no reliable reassuring thinking. But first let us be sure that the one world system will win the day for the welfare of people, all animals and the environment and rebuild trust that needs not mountains of paperwork.

It is interesting to spend this year celebrating the 90th anniversary of SPANA, founded by Ms Nina Hosali, which went to the aid of donkeys in poor countries in North Africa affected with tropical diseases and many sores, where animals replaced by tractors are being neglected and not nursed and it is an appropriate time to mention this factor of traditional methods.

We have now had some continuing success for dairy products, for which we have observed the commercially successful launch of alternative ‘dairy’ products and we ought in the next few years to see much British dairy produce in the form of plant alternatives on the market, which should presumably be free of taint by animal versions.

Therefore we are working vigorously with various allied agents to review dairy and meat products as environmental nuisances, comparable to how smoking has been regarded as a pleasurable experience but has now been notably accepted as an objectionable hazard in one generation.

We therefore require an alliance of people seeking data eg in the BioBank, to carry out these researches to produce a safe wholesome diet that would suit most of the population and increasing day by day.

At present that forecast is dismal and government is actually reducing the expenditure on veterinary involvement in surveillance of the meat industry. We publish commentaries of our own which are of relevance but we need to shoulder this whole job – reading the labels, taking decisions based on the labels, without having to trust a very dubious food industry.


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