• Denmark's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Danish minister slammed for false pork anecdote
Inger Støjberg arrives at a government seminar on Monday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix

Danish minister slammed for false pork anecdote

The Local · 12 Jan 2016, 12:04

Published: 12 Jan 2016 10:44 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Jan 2016 12:04 GMT+01:00

Speaking at a public debate in Frederikshavn on Friday, Inger Støjberg regaled the audience with a tale about some friends who put their child in private daycare after a public institution in Aalborg barred kids from eating pork in the name of multiculturalism. 
 
There was just one problem with the story: it was completely made up. 
 
Following Støjberg’s remarks, local media outlet Nordjyske contacted Aalborg Municipality and was told that there isn’t a single daycare in the area that has banned pork. 
 
“We follow the Danish Health Authority’s guidelines and have no reason to ban pork from our institutions. There might be an offering of different foods, but there is no ban,” Hans Christian Mariegaard, who heads the municipality’s children’s unit, told Nordjyske. 
 
Confronted with this on Monday, Støjberg said she regretted retelling the story but said she had no reason to believe it wasn’t correct. 
 
“I was told this story in private company by people I trust,” the integration minister wrote in an email. 
 
“I didn’t have reason to doubt that the retelling I heard was correct. I cannot further document that the parents in question were told that they couldn’t bring pork [in their child’s lunch, ed.] and I therefore shouldn’t have retold the story without double-checking with Aalborg Municipality,” she continued. 
 
In her written response to Nordjyske, Støjberg identified the daycare institution by name, but Mariegaard said he spoke with personnel there and no one knew anything about the supposed pork ban. 
 
Støjberg was roundly criticized on Monday, particularly after a Facebook post written by an Aalborg Municipality councilwoman was shared nearly 1,500 times. 
 
“What really bothers me is not so much that she lied, but that [government party] Venstre has so little faith in their own project that they need to lie to get the people on board with it,” Anja Lundtoft Thomsen wrote. 
Story continues below…
 
The incident was hardly the first time that Danish politicians weighed in on whether or not public institutions should bar pork in deference to Muslim children. In the summer of 2013, the debate hit such a fever pitch that it was declared 'the meatball war' (frikadellekrigen) in the national media and even the then prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, felt the need to weigh in on the issue.
 
In the municipal elections of November 2013, a member of the anti-immigration Danish People's Party even agreed to concede a close mayoral campaign in the Copenhagen suburb of Ishøj on the condition that the winning mayor would promise to serve more pork meatballs. 
 
While there are no official numbers on how many public institutions that ban pork, in 2013 it was estimated to be about 30 out of 1,719.

For more news from Denmark, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Today's headlines
Danish PM in 'embarrassing' Faroes flag blunder
The colours on the flag flown outside Copenhagen University were transposed. Photo: Twitter

“There are many in the Faroes who also see it as a lack of respect," a Faroese politician, told the Politiko news site .

'Topple Danish government to drive through Muslim ban'
Søren Krarup believes the time has come for the Danish People's Party to flex its muscles. Photo: Danish Parliament

Danish People Party's chief ideologue wants government toppled "without reflection".

Danish Pokémon corpse named as violent killer
Danish Pokémon Go players in Copenhagen. Photo: Emil Hougaard/Scanpix

The grim discovery made by a Danish Pokémon hunter just got darker.

Danish MP: Ban Muslim immigration to Denmark
Danish People's Party MP Søren Espersen. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Scanpix

A high-ranking Danish People’s Party MP came under fire on Thursday for his proposal to ban all immigration from ‘Muslim countries’ for a period of 4-6 years.

Danish Pokémon hunter killed in traffic accident
Pokémon Go players in Copenhagen. The hugely popular app was recently made available to Danish Pokemon fans. Photo: Emil Hougaard/Scanpix

The 21-year-old delivery van driver was found dead on Thursday morning with the popular Pokémon Go app still running on his phone.

Danish villagers band together to catch berry booth bandits
'I didn't choose the berry-booth-bandit life, the berry-booth-bandit life chose me.' Photo: cyclonebill/Flickr

Residents of the Jutland town of Saltum hatched up a plan to catch a pair of thieves who had snuck into their local strawberry booth and stolen the cash left by other customers several nights in a row.

Danish opposition leader: Trump is a ‘populist know-it-all’
Things might get a little awkward if both Frederiksen and Trump end up becoming heads of state in their respective countries. Photo: Jim Watson/Scanpix

The leader of Denmark’s largest opposition party launched a scathing attack on the controversial US presidential candidate in a Facebook post to her supporters on Wednesday.

1 in 3 Danes believe Denmark is at war with Islam
A fighter jet launches from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea. Photo: US Navy/Scanpix

A new survey finds that a sizeable minority of Danes believe that the country is at war with the religion of Islam and its adherents.

Study finds Danes are getting (even) taller

A new study found that the Danes have been getting even taller compared to the rest of the world over the last century.

Danish comedian slams prayer and religion in viral video
Photo: John MacDougall/Scanpix

A video by a Danish comedian has stirred up a heated debate on the utility of prayer and religion in general.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Technology
Danish Pokémon Go player finds dead body
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Denmark can't keep up with trove of ancient discoveries
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Culture
Our complete coverage from the 2016 Roskilde Festival
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danish police use infamous 'jewellery law' for first time
National
Danes with foreign spouses to be hit by new restriction
International
After Brexit, Danish PM resists calls for similar EU referendum
International
Why Denmark won't try to follow the UK out of the EU
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
National
Copenhagen police tear down Christiania cannabis market
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
International
Danish PM: Orlando shooting act of 'hatred'
Society
Sex campaigns lead to Danish baby boom
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Don't worry Denmark, the world still loves you
Culture
Danish diversity ad a massive social media hit – have you seen it?
National
Denmark scraps green card but spares current holders
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Society
Denmark takes historic step for transgender rights
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
National
Denmark to impose new 'integration' rules on kids
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
National
Green card holders in Denmark in race against time
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
National
How Copenhagen achieved an ‘organic food revolution’
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Travel
The second best destination in all of Europe is...
Sport
We are the champions! Denmark wins world badminton team title
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
National
After 100 years, British WW1 sailor identified in Denmark
Society
Strangest political story in Denmark just got stranger
2,313
jobs available