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A "glue" used to stick scraps of meat together to pass for prime cuts has sparked a complaint to the Commerce Commission.
Green's consumer affairs spokeswoman Sue Kedgley lodged the complaint this morning, and said "meat glue," an enzyme called transglutaminase, was deceptive and has potential food safety concerns.
"Most consumers would not want to eat scraps of meat that have been glued together with meat glue, but in the absence of any requirement for labelling, they may be eating it inadvertently.
"I have lodged a complaint with the Commerce Commission today, claiming that the practice breaches the Fair Trading Act as it is misleading and deceptive."
Ms Kedgley said consumers should be advised on a label or by other means that the meat they eat was composed of scraps glued together.
"I am told that meat glue is also used in meat balls, fish balls, ham and other products," she said.
Beef + Lamb New Zealand said transglutaminase was used to "top and tail" tenderloins to create consistent sizes.
Chief executive Rod Slater said the practice was not misleading and was not used by any supermarkets or independent butchers.
"Consumers are not being sold trim which has been bonded to create a prime cut. The process used in New Zealand bonds two tenderloins together to create a well portioned cut," says Slater.
He said research found there were no health concerns associated with the product.
Transglutaminase was almost entirely depleted from the meat as a result of cooking, he said.
The Commerce Commission told NZPA it had received Ms Kedgley's complaint within the last hour, but had not yet assessed it.
In May last year, meat glue made from thrombin was banned from European Parliament because it carried "an unacceptably high risk of misleading consumers".