Tuesday News Briefing
Horsemeat discovered in IKEA meatballs; zoo keepers approach rare crane disguised as birds
Posted: February 26, 2013
The number of Czech cases of mislabeled horsemeat has risen to four
Tests in the Czech Republic have uncovered undeclared horsemeat in meatballs supplied to cafeterias of the Swedish furniture chain IKEA, as well as in Polish beef burgers. The product batches were seized before they were released for sale, according to State Veterinary Administration spokesman Josef Duben. Speaking in Brussels Feb. 25 Agriculture Minister Petr Bendl said those who practiced deception on customers must be severely punished. It's feared some horsemeat declared as beef may have also been imported to the Czech Republic from Ireland. Meantime Slovakia has withdrawn the sale of Nowaco lasagna products after hygiene inspectors confirmed the presence of horsemeat in products said to contain only beef, local media reported Feb. 26.
Around 1000 people gathered in Prague's old town square Feb. 25 to mark the 65th anniversary of the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia. A day earlier tens of candles and flowers were laid at a memorial to Communist victims in an event attended by writer Michal Horáček, Prague auxiliary bishop Karel Herbst and director of the Institute for the Studies of Totalitarian Regimes Daniel Herman. At a separate event Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) blamed the Communists' rising popularity on all those who entered politics after 1990. Social Democrats MP Jeroným Tejc said that if the policies of Nečas and Kalousek were not so damaging, people would not be turning to the Communists.
Breeders at the Zlín zoo have disguised themselves as birds and used a puppet imitating a crane head in a desperate effort to prevent a rare orphaned bird from becoming too accustomed to humans. The baby hatched in early February after breeders put the egg in an incubator due to the low temperatures outside. The Zlín zoo is the first facility in the Czech Republic, and one of few in Europe, to successfully breed the wattle crane. The crane's parents tend to reject the young which is why the breeders have raised it artificially for now said zoo expert Pavel Shromáždil Feb. 26.
There has been a 14 percent drop in sales of bottled water between in the Czech Republic, figures from market research company Nielsen indicate. According to the company, bottled water sales in the Czech Republic were 458 million liters between July 2011 and June 2012, with the value of sales down 5 percent to 2.8 billion Kč. More shoppers were buying what Nielsen described as premium mineral waters, however, with sales up 15 percent to 900,000 liters. These upmarket water brands are typically sold in luxury restaurants and other outlets such as petrol stations, according to the research findings.
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