Pressemitteilung 31.05.2008

foodwatch exposes the illegal export to Malaysia of bovine meat and bone meal bearing the potential risk of BSE contamination

Meat and bone meal from bovine by-products classified as EU Category 2 material, which European law dictates cannot be exported or fed to animals, has been supplied to Malaysia from Germany. In Malaysia it is intended for use as feed for farmed animals. The consumer rights' organisation foodwatch has tracked and documented the trade route of 500 tons of meat and bone meal from the animal carcass disposal facility in Hardheim (Baden-Wuerttemberg) through Antwerp to Georgetown in Malaysia. The exporter SubsTrade falsely declared the material to be „mineral or chemical fertiliser“. Allgreen Nutrition Pte Ltd, based in Singapore, acted as middleman. German authorities did not investigate the false declaration.

The Category 2 material comes from sick and dead animals. Within the EU, this material can be used at most as fertiliser, but cannot be used as feed or be exported. „If meat and bone meal bearing the potential risk of BSE contamination is illegally exported, the threat is real that the meat from farmed animals fed with this meal will end up on plates of food in Asia or Europe,“ warned Matthias Wolfschmidt from foodwatch. The meat and bone meal exported to Malaysia was analysed in independent laboratory testing commissioned by foodwatch; the analysis revealed that the material is of bovine origin. The EU counts Malaysia among those countries where it cannot be assumed that sufficient safety measures against BSE are in place.

As recently as April 2007, Horst Seehofer, Germany's minister for agriculture, asserted that Category 2 material would be „treated and disposed of using strict safety precautions“. Matthias Wolfschmidt, deputy executive director of foodwatch, said: „Mr Seehofer is glossing over the situation and thereby deceiving consumers. Even meat and bone meal suspected of being infected with BSE is traded unchecked and uncontrolled within the European Union and abroad. German authorities are failing to enforce the ban on feeding bovine meat and bone meal to farmed animals.“