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Sample Essay on Ethical Issue Intensity: The Comigel Horsemeat Scandal

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Sample Essay on Ethical Issue Intensity: The Comigel Horsemeat Scandal

Correct food labeling has remained an important thing in the food processing and supply chain because it does not only influence consumer purchasing behavior, but it can also affect consumers’ health and cultural life. On February 2013, Britain and Europe’s meat industry was rocked by a scandal in which horsemeat was discovered in some products that were supposed to be purely beef (Levs and Nyberg, “Battle over blame”). This ethical issue began when the leadership at Comigel, a French food company, alerted its food distributors in Britain, mainly Tesco, Aldi, and other supermarkets that it feared some of its products, specifically the lasagnes and spaghetti dishes that were supposedly made with beef were actually made with horsemeat. This was an ethical issue of high intensity for the company, food regulators, food distributors, and the consumers. Even though horsemeat is normally eaten in several European countries, such as Italy, France, China and Russia, such food is usually considered a taboo in the United Kingdom (UK). Comigel’s chief executive officer’s (CEO) decision to announce the presence of horsemeat in supposedly beef products is ethical issue intensity as it demonstrates Comigel’s commitment to maintain high food standards and conformity to specifications in its various markets.    

            The discovery of horsemeat in supposedly beef products has put Comigel’s leadership, food regulators, food distributors, and the meat consumers at odds. For example, a food distributor by the name Findus Nordic, which oversees the distribution of such products throughout the Nordic region, filed a suit against Comigel and its meat sub-suppliers. Other food distributors in the UK, such as Tesco, Rangeland, Aldi, and Taco Bell withdrew large quantities of beef products from their shelves after most of them they were found to contain horse DNA that was or above the required one percent level. The food regulators were concerned that the horsemeat sold to consumers had phenylbutazone, a veterinary drug that is normally used in treating horses. Meat obtained from animals that have been treated with the phenylbutazone drug can pose a significant risk to people health, thus, its entry into the food chain is strictly not permitted. Finally, the dietary laws of some communities, such as the Jews, prohibit the eating of horsemeat.  









Works Cited

Levs, Josh, and Per Nyberg. “Battle over blame after horse meat found in beef products.” CNN, 15 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Oct. 2014.





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