Double standards are at work on European food markets, and this has been confirmed by a recent food-quality review by the national food safety office Nebih, Hungary’s Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas said on Wednesday.
Tests on the samples of around 100 food products have revealed that multinationals tend to produce and sell lower quality products in Hungary than in western Europe, Fazekas told a press conference. Some 70 percent of the tests by the authority showed differences, and products on the Hungarian market were always of a lower standard, he added. Some of the differences were immediately obvious while others were revealed by laboratory tests, he said.
A recurring difference was the use of lower quality basic materials, fewer natural ingredients and more flavour enhancing additives in the foods sold in Hungary compared with those sold in western Europe.
State secretary for food chain supervision, Róbert Zsigó, said the tests covered 96 products purchased in Hungary, Austria and Italy. A total of 84 food products, 7 beers and 5 pet foods were examined. Differences were revealed in 71 cases, including 30 cases in which the difference was based on the taste, 8 cases where there was a difference in the ingredients and 33 cases where both the taste and the ingredients differed, he said.
Foreign food producers often try to save on the costs of goods for Hungarian consumers, this notwithstanding the fact that prices in some instances are even higher than for identical products sold abroad, he added.
via MTI; photo: agroinform.hu