100% Pure? Fresh Meat Samples All Contained Sulphites

There’s a report in today’s press that says ALL samples of raw meat tested in Auckland were found to contain preservatives.

Given the high cost of meat in New Zealand it’s hardly surprising that you’d want it to last a while, but adding sulphites to fresh meat is illegal in most countries -New Zealand included- because of the health risks. Some of the meat was bought from national supermarkets so it is reasonable to assume this practice may be happening across the country. But are export products also affected and organic meats too?

Fresh meat samples taken from butchers and supermarkets in Auckland by the Ministry for Primary Industries have all been found to contain health-endangering preservatives.

Earlier this month MPI said it had taken raw meat samples from butchers and supermarkets, partly because of its concern about a potential increase in the use of sulphur dioxide and other sulphites, which are illegal in raw meat.

Due to the potential serious health effects, sulphites are only allowed in specified meat products, including some sausages, luncheon meat and manufactured ham. They are also used in wine and dried fruits. Added sulphites must be declared on food labels, allowing consumers to avoid the products involved.

Sulphites can be used to make meat look fresher and last longer”.

Coming so soon after the clostridium and DCD scandals this will rightly be seen as another nail in the coffin for the 100% pure brand, an advertising concept that has been misappropriated by many industries in New Zealand, dragging it in to disrepute.

    The Link Between Sulphites and Asthma

Sulfite Sensitivity
Sensitivity to sulfites can develop at any time during a person’s lifespan, with some initial reactions not showing up until a person has reached their forties or fifties. The manifestations of sulfite sensitivity include a large array of dermatological, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular symptoms. Asthmatics that are steroid-dependent or have a great degree of airway hyperreactivity may be at an increased risk of having a reaction to a sulfite containing food (Lester, 1995). Varying degrees of bronchospasm, angiodema, urticaria, nausea, abdominal cramping, and diarrhea are commonly reported (Knodel, 1997). Adverse reactions to sulfites in nonasthmatics are extremely rare…


Asthma Prevelence in New Zealand, from the NZ Asthma Foundation

The Statistics

We are not sure why New Zealand has the second highest prevalence of asthma in the world (after the UK). Possible factors include diet, climate, immunisation rates, economic conditions, community health care standards, antibiotic use in early childhood and the timing and number of respiratory infections in early life

Whatever the cause, one thing is for sure – asthma hits our country hard.

One in six New Zealand adults and one in four of our children experience asthma symptoms. (Adding up to more than 600 000 Kiwis.)

The prevalence of asthma appears to be similar across New Zealand metropolitan centres.

Asthma is the most common cause of admission to hospital for children.

Severe asthma is common – up to 8 percent of teenagers report wheeze limiting speech, and 10 percent of adults report waking with breathlessness occurring within the previous 12 months.

Hospitalisation rates for asthma have more than doubled in the past 30 years.

Asthma is the highest-ranking specific disease in terms of Years Lost to Disability in males, and third highest for females.
(‘Years Lost to Disability’ represent time in which a person is too unwell to enjoy the productive life they normally would.