“An SPD-led German government would push for a European food police force along the lines of Europol, which could get to the bottom of these kinds of international food scandals,” head of the main opposition Social Democrats (SPD) Sigmar Gabriel told Bild daily tabloid on Friday.
If the SPD were to win in September’s national election, pledged Gabriel, Germany would push for a new European body – part grocery watchdog, part crime-busting food force.
The proposed “Eurofood” food standards authority would be better placed than current piecemeal national authorities to trace food sources across the continent.
“We can’t continue to allow only higher earners to be able to afford healthy food from organic supermarkets,” said Gabriel, who also called for European agriculture to be re-focused on quality rather than quantity.
Gabriel’s comments come the day after Germany’s Consumer Ministry confirmed that over 100 German food retailers have been buying horsemeat labelled as beef from a Dutch abattoir over the past two years.
At least 124 German butchers, meat dealers and food companies in all states except for Bremen and Sauerland bought horse from the distributor in question, which delivered to 370 retailers across Europe, Der Spiegel reported on Thursday.