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Runners and riders: the horsemeat scandal, EU law and multi-level enforcement

Barnard, C and O'Connor, N (2017) 'Runners and riders: the horsemeat scandal, EU law and multi-level enforcement.' The Cambridge law journal, 76 (01). 116 - 144. ISSN 0008-1973

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The 2013 horsemeat scandal shone a bright light on some of the darkest corners of supply-chain governance across the EU, revealing a blind spot in current EU food law. “Beef” frozen-food products were found to contain up to 100% horse. The British and Irish are squeamish about eating horse. Even for those countries where horsemeat is seen as a delicacy, the horse getting into the frozen “beef” was often of poor quality and possibly contaminated with “bute”, a veterinary drug not permitted in food for human consumption. The ability of the EU's regulatory regime to prevent fraud on such a scale was shown to be inadequate. EU food law, with its (over) emphasis on food safety, failed to prevent the occurrence of fraud and may even have played an (unintentional) role in facilitating or enhancing it. Domestic law offered little better protection, thus showing the difficulties associated with the implementation of a multi-level and multi-agency regulatory regime. Beyond the regulatory system, the EU's core Treaty commitment to the free movement of goods may also have laid the ground for complex and opaque supply chains into which unscrupulous traders and middlemen could slip unnoticed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2017 14:59
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 14:59

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