The Swedish Consumers’ Association has joined politicians in criticising the government’s approval of thrombin, known colloquially as ‘meat glue’, claiming that the public could be misled about the properties of the product. “We do not want this at all – it is meat make-up,” said the Association’s Jan Bertoft.
A coagulation protein, thrombin is combined with an additional fibrous protein called fibrin to make an enzyme which is used for sticking various pieces of meat together. Last week the EU nations voted in favour of the use of the meat glue enzyme.
Although meat products containing the meat glue will be clearly labelled, there exist concerns that the final appearance of the product would fool consumers who would be unlikely to be able to identify different meat pieces. An example is pork tenderloin, which can have numerous small parts fused to produce what appears to be a whole fillet. “The problem is that it looks like real meat. It is the dishonesty in it that makes us think that it is not okay,” stated Bertoft.
Swedish politicians have also lambasted the approval of thrombin according to The Local. “To use Thrombin in meat is a way of misleading consumers, to present something as better than it actually is,” said Social Democrat MEP Asa Westlund. “If it had been in force today, then this would not have been allowed. That is my view,” Westlund added. The approval was made by a Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health, with only one country voting against the plan and one abstention. Sweden voted in favour.
Products containing Thrombin, which is made from pig or cow blood, will be labelled a “composite meat product” and prohibited from use in commercial kitchens.