Sunday, February 10, 2013

More on horse meat scandal

I am currently in the UK and suffering from the inevitable personal clock disruption caused by long international flights, so I've been watching the BBC news, which is reporting new revelations on the horse meat scandal.

Some manufactured meat products, such as lasagna, have been found to contain not just traces of horse meat, but consisted of 100% horse meat.  This is obviously not accidental and is almost certainly a deliberate intention to defraud.

Though not yet proven, it appears that the horse meat entered the French food industry via a shipment of so- called beef from an abattoir in Romania.

As I noted in a previous post, there is probably no health issue, though concern has been raised that the horses could have been treated with animal remedies that might still be present in the meat.

This story will remain in the headlines - there are calls for bans on import of meat from Europe, but this is not possible under the European single market rules.  One thing is certain; the story will continue to unfold for some time.

1 comment:

John Brooks said...

26th May 2013

A limited investigation by the Star shows that Canada also has a problem with horses potentially getting through into the human food chain, possibly carrying animal remedy residues into the meat.
See:
http://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2013/05/24/star_investigation_drugged_horses_slipping_through_inadequate_food_system.html

In Canada, horses are supposed to have an equine information document or "passport" showing their history. Race horses in particular are likely to have been treated at some time in their lives with drugs not permitted for human consumption, and which should therefore not be found in meat. European Commission auditors have found irregularities in passports of horses imported into Canada for slaughter.

It appears that the passports are often unreliable and verification of the drug status of the meat can be made only by laboratory testing.

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