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Archive for December, 2008

My 6 year old daughter exclaimed in dismay as I threw the cooked ham in the bin this morning. She hates cheese sandwiches and it being Monday morning I hadn’t the imagination or energy to think of anything else. Something that would pass the lunchbox police at her desk who yuck at anything but ham sandwiches and cause her to bring her lunch home uneaten. But it’s total recall time when Minsters duck into the nearest phonebox and emerge with their underpants on the outside and a flowing cape on their shoulders. So whatever I may feel about over reaction by the authorities and a personal willingness to break the ban, I still couldn’t send my kids to school with PCBs. It’ll be in their bodies for at least 30 years longer.

But I know this recall isn’t really about health, if dioxins had such an immediate and traceable effect they’d block our chimneys and ban cigarettes entirely. It’s about the meat industry again and it’s about pressure for cheap food, costs and shortcuts again, it’s about consumer confidence in the supermarket aisles and protecting the big bacon players, many of whom are actually selling imported meat. Oh the irony! But as usual those hardest hit will be the small processors and farmers who will find it hard to sustain the blow of this overreactive blanket ban – Anthony Creswell at Ummera Smoked Products has a great post on this

Conor O’Neill has got a bit of discussion going and it worth viewing for the rasher sandwich photo alone. The message going out is one of reassurance – we’ll be back on the bacon in a week – but will that be Irish bacon or the imported sort? It will take quite a while to test and reopen the pig farms around Ireland but the bigger concern is to reassure shoppers, keep markets open and not upset the Christmas dinner – that would never be forgotten.

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