retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Wall Street Journal this morning reports that while the ongoing horse meat scandal in Europe is forcing both suppliers and retailers to apologize for the contamination and "pledge to make better use of DNA testing on their products to ensure it never happens again," the reality is that "avoiding another food scare with testing isn't likely, because testing isn't easy or cost-effective."

One problem is that resources devoted to DNA testing have been cut back in recent years, so labs that still do the testing now are being inundated, which lengthens turnaround times. In addition, testing is costly - which means that these costs have to be passed along to the producer and, eventually and inevitably, to the consumer.

And, there's one other twist - it seems that "if the food chain was contaminated with meat from sources that weren't being looked for, DNA testing wouldn't pick it up." In other words, if you are DNA testing for beef, you wouldn't necessarily be able to pick up horse DSNA. Or dog DNA. Or moose DNA. Or anything you are not looking for. Which means that while DNA testing for horse meat now can work because it is reactive, expanded DNA testing in the future will have significant limitations in picking up contamination.

You can read the whole story click here
KC's View:
Jon Stewart had a funny take on the horse meat scandal last night on 'The Daily Show," and he linked it to the asteroids falling on Russia in a segment entitled "We May Be Screwed, But At Least God Isn't Hurling Rocks And Loose Horsemeat At Us."

You can check it out click here. Prepare to laugh.