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Undercover Mum Exposes Zebu Beef
28/08/07

Restaurant chains must be more upfront about the origin and quality of the meat they serve if they are truly to respond to growing consumer demand says the NBA.

EBLEX says Zebu breeds produce meat with an
overall poorer eating quality.

zebu cattle

This warning comes from the National Beef Association which was alarmed by the content of Granada’s “Undercover Mum” expose, screened at 8pm on Tuesday August 21st, in which both JD Wetherspoons and Greene King’s Hungry Horse restaurant chain’s were serving beef containing Zebu genetics from cattle born and raised in other countries.

“Zebu, or Bos Indicus, cattle are quite different from the beef animals farmed in the UK and their beef is scientifically proven to be of poorer eating quality than beef taken from a typically British, or Bos Taurus, animal “explained NBA Director, Kim Haywood.

BOS INDICUS genetics ('zebu genes') is excluded from the English Beef and Lamb Executive (EBLEX) Quality Standard beef scheme adopted by many retail outlets and under the new requirement, which has been agreed by Defra, the zebu gene must not appear in any beef or beef products that carry the Quality Standard Mark.

“DNA testing done by the “Undercover Mum” team confirmed that 67 per cent of the steak sold through Wetherspoons was taken from genetically different Zebu cattle and it was abundantly clear that the consumers who were interviewed had no knowledge of this.”

“Furthermore “Undercover Mum” showed that Wetherspoons was openly claiming that its beef was 100 per cent British. DNA testing, clearly showed that this was not the case. Nevertheless Wetherspoons has defended itself by saying it is not legally obliged to confirm the country of origin.”

“Hungry Horse told the programme that if offered its customers value for money. It has since claimed that Zebu beef is taxonomically identical to beef from cattle breeds farmed in the UK, whatever that means, but it has not said that Zebu beef is significantly cheaper than British beef and scientifically shown to be of poorer quality. This is what it must mean about value for money.”

The NBA will be writing to the Competition Commission to ask for an investigation by the Office of Fair Trading on the need to display the origin of the meat on their menus to provide more information for consumers and to provide training sessions for their staff on the origins of the beef they are serving to customers.

link Beef Finishers Who Stick to their Price Guns will be Rewarded
link Public Backing for Home Produced Meat Can Help British Livestock Farmers
link EC Should Retreat from Commercial Decisions at Farm Level

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