Label old beef(s)

I have a friend who was a dairy farmer for decades and he refused to eat at McDonald’s.

He likes hamburgers and all, he just couldn’t stand the thought of his spent Holsteins being served as a Big Mac.

Some types in the Australian beef industry feel the same way.

The Courier Mail in Brisbane reports that backers of truth-in-labeling legislation aimed at ensuring old cow meat is clearly labeled as such are concerned industry representatives will succeed in destroying the intent of the legislation.

They are worried that a register being drawn up in response to the legislation will only make buying beef in the supermarket even more confusing for consumers.

Once passed, the terminology would apply to meat sold in supermarkets and butchers around the country.

Consultant to the truth-in-labelling legislation, Norman Hunt, said vested industry interests who did not want consumers to realize they were buying beef from old cows were to blame.

The Aus-Meat domestic retail beef register, drawn up earlier this month, is proposing to change the much-maligned "budget" label, used to describe beef from cattle 10 years old, to "economy".

Under existing law in Queensland, abattoirs must label old cow meat "manufacturing" grade but retailers are then able to market it as prime cut under the "budget" grading.

Government adviser, Red Meat Advisory Council secretary Justin Toohey said it was impossible to provide a guide to eating quality of meat to consumers based on a whole of animal approach, adding,

"The trouble is every muscle has to be graded individually for this sort of thing to be a success. An eye-fillet from an eight-tooth cow could be beautiful eating, for example."