See More

Consumer watchdog to probe meat labelling

Feb 28 2013 11:08 Sapa

Related Articles

Donkey, buffalo found in SA meat

Horsemeat scare hits UK consumers hard

Horse-wary Britons spurn all meat

Meat scandal tentacles reach into SA

Horsemeat scandal: SA safe

France acts on firm in horsemeat scandal


Cape Town - The National Consumer Commission is to probe the incorrect labelling of meat products, acting government spokesperson Phumla Williams said on Thursday.

Briefing the media following Cabinet's fortnightly Wednesday meeting, she said the executive had noted reports creating alarm and panic on the incorrect labelling of such products.

The Consumer Protection Act set out general standards for marketing goods and services, she said.

"It stipulates that parties in the supply chain must not market any goods or services in a manner that is likely to imply false or misleading representation concerning those goods and services."

As a result of the research findings of a study group at Stellenbosch University, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies had asked the National Consumer Commission to conduct an urgent investigation into the matter.

"This is because this matter may have far and wide-ranging implications and impact on the broader consumer public," Williams said.

According to the study by Stellenbosch University scientists, goat, water buffalo, and donkey meat had been found in food products including sausages, "dried meats", burger patties, and mincemeat.

"In other cases, even undeclared plant matter was detected," the university said on its news blog on Tuesday.

"The study found that anything from soya, donkey, goat, and water buffalo were to be found in up to 68% of the 139 minced meats, burger patties, deli meats, sausages, and dried meats that were tested."

Soya and gluten were present in 28% of the samples.

The university said the products tested were mislabelled and the true ingredients were not declared on the packaging.

The study was published in the international Food Control journal, and was carried out by Dr Donna-Maree Cawthorn and Professor Louw Hoffman from the university's animal sciences department.

In the blog, Hoffman is quoted as saying: "Our study confirms that the mislabelling of processed meats is commonplace in South Africa and not only violates food labelling regulations, but also... (may have) economic, religious, ethical and health impacts."

The products tested were collected from retail outlets and butcheries, and various DNA-based molecular techniques were used to evaluate the meat products.

"Our findings raise significant concern on the functioning of the meat supply chain in South Africa," said Hoffman.

"Even though we have local regulations that protect consumers from being sold falsely described or inferior foodstuffs, we need these measures to be appropriately enforced."

Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Johannesburg has been selected to host the Global Entrepreneurship Congress in 2017. "[The congress] will ensure that small business development remains firmly on the national agenda and the radar screen of all stakeholders, the Small Business Development minister said.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The upcoming electricity and fuel price hikes will:

Previous results · Suggest a vote