Earlier this year, Australia’s Today Tonight’s East Coast anchor Matt White presented a special report on meat glue, another amazing product that has already revolutionised the way we live and die, while eating our way to an early grave.
Last year, attorney at American food poisoning lawyers of Marler Clark, Zach Mallove reported on the EU’s ban: on ‘May 20, [2010,] the European Parliament voted to ban bovine and porcine thrombin used as an additive to bind separate pieces of meat together into one piece. According to European Union lawmakers, the additives, which are commonly called “meat glue,” have no proven benefits” and create products that “carry an unacceptably high risk of misleading consumers” instead. Another consideration EU lawmakers considered was the higher risk of bacterial infection in meat products created with thrombin, due to the larger surface area of meat and the cold bonding process that is used. The decision not to authorize meat glue as an additive rejects an earlier European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) positive safety opinion on the use of ‘meat glue’ in 2005. Meat glue is an enzyme composed of thrombin and fibrogen, obtained from blood plasma. It can be used by the meat industry as a food additive for reconstituting fresh meat to create a product of desirable size and form. The method can also be applied to poultry, fish and seafood’. So, banned in the EU but apparently not in Australia, the U.S. or Asia . . . Mallove adds ominously that “[s]ome lawmakers stressed that meat glue had been declared safe and was already used in some countries”. According to the Colloids for Life Blog, “meat glue is widely used” by American and Australian meat manufacturers.
Eric Schlosser’s somewhat mistitled book Fast Food Nation (2001) details in great depth the state of the American meatpacking industry and how the need for increased profit reduces safety concerns, leading to unsafe meat products being used all over the U.S. Now, the addition of meat glue to the already hazardous recipe for carnivorous diets can only mean that meat-eaters are getting a really raw deal . . . The South African website Food Stuff, reports that in ‘the United States, meat glue is most commonly sold under the label Activa TG, which is manufactured and marketed by the Japanese food and pharmaceutical giant Ajinomoto. The company, whose name translates as “the essence of taste”, also credits itself with the discovery of umami — a taste described most simply as savoury — and is the world’s largest manufacturer of monosodium glutamate, or MSG. Ajinomoto operates in over 23 nations worldwide, where it widely markets several versions of the meat glue, each one modified for a specific type of flesh or protein, including fish, red meat, and even dairy. Long used in cheap, reconstituted meat products like chicken nuggets, the enzyme first showed up on a swanky menu in 2004 when chef Heston Blumenthal made a “mackerel invertebrate” by de-boning a fish and gluing it back together. Blumenthal owns the Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, England, which some critics consider the best restaurant in the world. Since then, the binding agent has been championed by other chefs attracted to such gastronomic trickery, like Dufresne, and Grant Achatz at Chicago’s restaurant Alinea, who was once called the “love child of Julia Child and Einstein.” Meat glue is now so popular that Ajinomoto is considering offering smaller-sized, more consumer-friendly packaging for home cooks. While Ajinomoto declined a request to release specific sales figures for meat glue, the company did acknowledge a rapid uptick in sales’. How long before Ajinomoto lobbyists will be able to tear down the walls of EU Regulations???
Ajinomoto’s account executive for Canada and much of the United States Guy Tinay declared, “The business is increasing every year significantly”. And Willy Dufresne, “cook” at the swanky New York establishment WD-50 even stated that “Meat glue makes us better chefs”. With Ajinomoto’s money and high-profile chef’s endorsements, one cannot but wonder about the obduracy of EU bureaucracy . . .
 I would like to thank the Facebooker Advocatefor Savingdogs for bringing this item to my attention.
 Zach Mallove, “EU Bans ‘Meat Glue’” Food Safety News (24 May 2010). http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/05/eu-bans-meat-glue/.
 Zach Mallove, “EU Bans ‘Meat Glue’”.
 “How Much Meat Glue Are You Eating?” Colloids for Life (15 April 2011). http://blog.colloidsforlife.com/food-nutrition/meat-glue/.
 “The rise of meat glue” Food Stuff (30 June 2011). http://foodstuffsa.co.za/index.php/food-trends-mainmenu-119/food-trends-2011/1219-the-rise-of-meat-glue.
 “The rise of meat glue”.
 “The rise of meat glue”.