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Charities say 'neigh' to feeding horse to the poor
Photo: DPA

Charities say 'neigh' to feeding horse to the poor

Published: 22 Feb 2013 19:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2013 19:19 GMT+01:00

A conservative German politician has been slammed for suggesting that poor people be given the meals removed from sale because they contained horse meat. Charities and a Catholic leader said the idea showed an astonishing lack of respect.

Hartwig Fischer, of Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, said on Thursday it would be a shame to destroy the lasagne and other ready made meals. "These are high-quality products found in Germany, not health-endangering foods," he said.

He said they should be relabelled and given to organisations which feed homeless and poverty stricken people.

The federal association of soup kitchens appeared reluctant, a spokeswoman in Berlin saying that while there was uncertainty among the public about the products, there was no demand for them.

Spokesman for the German Catholic Bishops Matthias Kopp said on Friday the idea was insulting to those in need. "Everyone in need must receive minimum quality standards. Such a suggestion can only result in head-shaking," he told Bildnewspaper.

And Christian Bakemeier, manager of a church-related soup kitchen added that: "one should not expect people in need to eat food which has been removed from sale."

He said the fact that increasing numbers of people in the country were having to live on donated food should rather prompt politicians to think about solving the poverty problem in Germany.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

20:45 February 22, 2013 by rosenthalenglish
You can tell they have plenty of money and don't go hungry.This food has been on sale for months and has been eaten by millions.It is better to give it away than throw it away.Our family of 6 children would certainly eat it if they wont to donate it too us free.
20:46 February 22, 2013 by F-ergo
Let them eat donkey!!
21:10 February 22, 2013 by Berlin fuer alles
If the catholic church say this is a lack of respect then it is also a lack of respect for this church to take church tax from the poor.

Horse meat is eaten in many countries and it is far better to let this food be eaten by those who are in need than to throw it away. Throwing it away would be a lack of respect to the poor and hungry as well as a waste of the life of an animal. That would surely be a bigger sin in the eyes of God if he really did exist as the church are always preaching.
22:21 February 22, 2013 by ChrisRea
I agree with all from above. The only thing is that I think the meat should be tested to see if the quality standards were kept (for example, that they were not injected with hormones). If the producer decided to play the trick with changing the source of meat, he might have indulge himself other tricks as well. However, I think that there is a high probability that the food is posing no danger to health and as such it would be a terrible waste to throw it away. I wonder why don't they let the homeless people decide from themselves.
07:27 February 23, 2013 by melbournite
The issue is that old horses, which are the ones that usually end up illegally in your frozen lasagne, are injected with phenylbutazone as an inflammatory and for pain relief. For good reason "bute" is banned from entering the food chain. However old horses produce copious amounts of sh*t which is probably suitable for CDU politicians to eat
12:41 February 23, 2013 by Kennneth Ingle
I agree completely with most of the writers here, there is no reason not to eat horse meat if it is free from contamination. During the last century there were times, when many would have queued up hours for such food.

When good used clothes and furniture are destroyed, because people in need refuse to take items which are not new, the question of what poor is requires a revised answer. Often this word would seem to be applied to those who are slightly underprivileged.

No Dishwasher, no television, no computer or mobile telephone and the cry is raised about living in destitution.

Poor people deserve respect and should, where possible, be helped to escape the poverty in which they live. Anybody who is in a position to reject good food cannot really be looked upon as being poor.

A good Shire-horse steak may be a little tough, but is almost certain to be healthier than pigs, or chickens which are produced in modern meat factories and are daily fed with anti-biotics.
13:45 February 23, 2013 by Englishted
@rosenthalenglish

Would you let your family eat beef during the B.S.E. era?

Because if they lied to put in horse meat what makes you think they would not put in anything else ,it would also explain a lot.
14:56 February 23, 2013 by rosenthalenglish
@Englishted

you make a good point,but up to now only one English slaughter house has been found to have killed horses with bute in them.The vast majority of this scandal is pure fraud-passing horse meat off as beef.Saying that look at half the crap that is put in these ready meals anyway.I cook our meals fresh daily.But would not turn down free food if they are only going to throw it away.As a Catholic I find the comment of the spokesman for the German Catholic Bishops appalling.I would imagine he has never been really poor or he wouldn't make such stupid comments.
16:53 February 23, 2013 by Englishted
@rosenthalenglish

True, but we must question what standard of checks are in place when this can happen .As to the R.C. it is not a surprise completely out of touch .
16:54 February 23, 2013 by Eric1
What ever happened to "beggars can't be choosey".
21:09 February 23, 2013 by sandra lawrence
If the food is nor good enough for the rich then it is not good enough for the poor. I was apalled when I heard that comment. How disrespectful. It is not only the fact that there may be horse meat in the food, there could be other anuimals in it.

Sandra

https://plus.google.com/118307093916871943169
02:11 February 24, 2013 by alien_
As I see it, the biggest problem in this scandal is not that the meat was of bad quality or hazardous to eat, but that it was intentionally mislabeled so people got a different thing instead of what they were willing to buy. Compare it to getting offered turkey when asking for chicken. As long as the product is labeled properly, and proven to be safe for consumers, it should be sold or given for free to whoever would accept to eat it. I would personally buy such products in the store, honoring the death of those animals. It's really shame that so many animals were killed in vain and we'd just throw their meat to garbage, while so many people in many parts of the world would not even dare to dream of eating meat. On the other hand, I come from Romania, the country that originated the meat in this case and I know how things are there. There are some farms that are growing cattle on medium to large scale, but not so many for horses, so most likely these animals were collected from various private owners from the country side. There, many people are doing subsistence agriculture, and use cows and horses on a daily basis for milk and traction. They love their animals, treat them almost as members of the family, and nobody would give them to slaughter unless those animals are either dying, seriously injured or sick(or are falsely diagnosed as sick by the vet. in complicity with slaughterhouses in order to make them dirt cheap, if given a share of the profit). I even heard of some cases when dead animals that were already smelling were accepted by slaughterhouses and processed. So I would strongly suggest for thoroughly testing these meat products before they are allowed for consumption.
10:31 February 24, 2013 by wood artist
If the food is safe to eat, what logic can there be in throwing it away when thousands are going hungry? Yes, it may not be something "you" would deliberately buy, and yes, for some it may represent a problem religiously or due to other dietary restrictions, but it IS food, and regardless of income it could help keep someone alive and more healthy. By all means label it honestly, and certainly let anyone interested know exactly what the problem is/was, but don't deny anyone a possible meal just because you wouldn't buy it yourself.

As for the Catholics...well, they' done a pretty poor job of helping the poor lately, and maybe they need to go back and read the lessons taught by Jesus...because it seems they don't know much about the things he stood for. If he were running a hospital, he wouldn't turn a woman away. If he were running a school, he wouldn't be abusing children. And, I really thing he'd be pretty embarrassed by the wealth they've accumulated in Rome and elsewhere.

wa
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