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Churning Mystery: ‘Horsemeat’ in Burger King Burgers May Actually be Donkey Meat

Anthony Gucciardi
Natural Society / News Analysis
Published: Monday 18 February 2013
As it turns out, the admission means that either Burger King has no idea what’s in it’s own food, or in a more sinister scenario does not care about what consumers think and instead is interested in securing profits without causing a stir (or lawsuits).
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Would you rather unknowingly eat a horse or a donkey? In a truly bizarre mix-up, it turns out that the mystery meat in U.K. Burger King burgers, which I have pointed out is actually not the worst thing you need to worry about in their burgers, may actually be sourced from donkeys.

In case you are not up-to-date on this scenario, it was originally admitted by Burger King that its burgers did contain mystery meat (that at the time was identified as horsemeat) just hours after claiming that their U.K. burgers were pure. The exact statement confirming the horsemeat in the burgers from the Burger King rep, or what was thought to be horsemeat at this point, was:

“Four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have shown the presence of very small trace levels of equine DNA… we have established that Silvercrest used a small percentage of beef imported from a non-approved supplier in Poland. This is a clear violation of our specifications, and we have terminated our relationship with them.”

As it turns out, the admission means that either Burger King has no idea what’s in it’s own food, or in a more sinister scenario does not care about what consumers think and instead is interested in securing profits without causing a stir (or lawsuits). The report originally appeared in The Guardian, which developed as the night went on.

A new report in The Independent, however, asserts that the meat may in fact be donkey meat—a prospect that I am not entirely sure is more concerning or equally as concerning. This is due to a recent law change in Romania that virtually no one would initially piece together as being responsible for mystery meat inside Burger King Whoppers. As it turns out, though, Romania recently banned a very common form of transportation which included horse-drawn carts. As a result of the ban, struggling citizens therefore sent their horses to be slaughtered for the fraudulent sale of horsemeat that has permeated the European beef market.

But what about the donkeys? Well, it turns out that they also used donkeys to pull their carts as well. According to the vice-president of the European Parliament agriculture committee Jose Bove, it has affected millions of animals—donkeys and horses alike:

“Horses have been banned from Romanian roads and millions of animals have been sent to the slaughterhouse…”

This is where it gets to be an entirely new story. Millions of animals were culled in order to produce meat, which then leaked into the beef supply, and now no one knows what some of the meats produced by some European facilities really are. French officials began to take the issue seriously as well after it started hitting the news, and French consumer minister Benoît Hamon is now going after European meat corporations. In fact, it may escalate to serious legal action if it turns out that these companies are fully aware of the horse and donkey meat that they may be selling off as beef.

Whether or not you find it disturbing that you may be eating horse or donkey in your burger, it also comes down to a matter of knowing what’s in your food. It comes as no surprise to many of us who are aware of just how mysterious fast food is as a whole, but the existence of horse or donkey meat inside Burger King burgers (and other burgers even available in supermarkets) means that consumers really don’t know what they’re putting into their mouths when they purchase these items. This, regardless of what you think about eating these animals, is of serious concern and risk.



Author pic
ABOUT Anthony Gucciardi

Anthony is an accomplished investigative journalist whose articles have appeared on top news sites and have been read by millions worldwide. A health activist and researcher, Anthony’s goal is informing the public as to how they can use natural methods to revolutionize their health, as well as exploring the behind the scenes activity of the pharmaceutical industry and the FDA.

I don't understand why so

I don't understand why so many people have stopped buying ground meat because of this and are getting so very upset. They can't all be people whose religion commands them to avoid eating equine meat - I doubt anyone who is keeping kosher or Halel would have purchased any meat products that have been found to be contaminated, for those cheap meats wouldn't have a kosher or Halel label. I'm a vegetarian, and if I'm at a potluck and discover I accidentally helped myself to something containing meat, I don't make a big deal about it, I just shrug and finish cleaning the rest of my plate. Its not like the meat came from animals that are particularly dirty or germ laden any more than any other kind of meat. If it were Asia, the mystery meat would be cats and dogs and maybe even rats. If you are going to be squeamish, you shouldn't be a carnivore, unless you can kill and butcher all your meat yourself. Once meat is cut off of the carcass, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces, you aren't going to be able to tell for sure what kind of meat it is short of having DNA tests done, even if you can eliminate some possibilities. Of course the folks responsible for passing horsemeat off as beef in the first place should be prosecuted, but they are guilty of lying/ false advertising, not poisoning anyone.

jussmartenuf's picture

The bleeding hearts don't

The bleeding hearts don't want horses slaughtered in the U.S. so we deport them to Mexico and Canada for the processing.
Indians, settlers, Donners and others all ate horse and no one heard any complaints.
Deer, pigs, sheep, goats, alligator, cows, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons, possum, rats, mice, chickens, pigeons, ducks, geese, turkeys, monkeys, moose, fish, bear, dogs, cats, what have you. Hungry is hungry.

Consumer groups should take

Consumer groups should take up the task of genetically testing fast food "beef" in the U.S. We might be surprised at the results.

It's only a matter of time before Soylent Green.

Have to say I don't much

Have to say I don't much care, other than the obvious deficiency in the inspection process. I ate several kinds of "generic meat" in Eastern Europe more than 20 years ago, and it did me no harm. Some of it was horse, I suspect.

Yes, there are a lot of prejudices against the use of horses or donkeys for meat. This may be because they take longer to "fatten up" than cows or pigs. Or for religious reasons, or what have you. But when you get down to it, meat is meat.

Boris Badenov's picture

OK, the first question I need

OK, the first question I need to know, does it taste BAD!
I mean Bison and Elk taste great, But I always thought that Horse meat tasted like Moose.
I guess we should talk to the Dutch about this huh?

EDG's picture

Who needs a special sauce

Who needs a special sauce when you have a burger that gives you a "real kick in the ass"!

Why is "Bugger King" still in

Why is "Bugger King" still in business?

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