04/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

"Meat Glue": EU's Approval Of Food Additive 'Thrombin' Freaks Swedes Out

Swedish consumer groups and politicians are united in alarm over the approval of thrombin, known as "meat glue," an animal-derived additive that processed food manufacturers can use to combine varying meat products into a single piece of "meat." Thrombin is an enzyme comprised of a coagulation protein from pig or cow's blood and a fibrous protein called fibrin, but the head of the Swedish Consumer's Association Jan Bertoft calls it "meat make-up."

The concern is that consumers will be misled to believe that a processed combined meat product is a single piece of meat, and not a "composite meat product," as products with thrombin will be required to note. "The problem is that it looks like real meat. It is the dishonesty in it that makes us think that it is not okay," Bertoft explained.

Pictured: Artist Roxy Paine's "Head Cheese," made of pigmented cast epoxy resins.