In perhaps one of the dumbest headlines of the day, we sadly must report that Russian authorities have destroyed over 1.5 tons of food earmarked for the BMW car racing team. Was it because Russia has something against high-performance automobiles? They might, but the real reason for destroying the food was a much more eyeroll-worthy offense. The act was in retaliation for sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine, and Russia has been burning European foods for weeks.
Recently, Moscow officials have been throwing a fit by bulldozing and burning Western food and other goods since early August. This political tantrum is essentially the government’s attempt to boycott the west, but it’s not really working the way they hoped. Citizens are becoming outraged by the senseless destruction of food, given the steady increase in poverty seen throughout the nation.
The BMW team is participating in a German-based series of circuit races called DTM, and the Moscow portion of the event starts today (August 28). The food was confiscated in the Pskov region, about 450 miles north-west of Moscow, while en route to the event. Officials won’t ‘fess up to the political underscoring of the food-destroying program, though. “The department decided to impound goods at the checkpoint due to gross violation of sanitary rules,” the Tass Russian news agency quoted food watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor as saying.
Safety claims seem to be the government’s go-to excuse for destroying European foods, not just those earmarked for race car drivers. Earlier this week, Russian authorities incinerated 35 tons of pork from Denmark, claiming that the meat couldn’t be verified as safe because the accompanying documents were falsified. It’s unclear whether that was actually the case.
Via The Guardian