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Horsemeat scandal intensifies

By Ian Wishart  -  14.02.2013 / 13:16 CET
Commission proposes to increase the amount of DNA testing of meat products.
The European Commission has proposed increasing the amount of DNA testing of meat products as the horsemeat scandal intensifies.  

At a meeting of seven of the European Union's food and agriculture ministers in Brussels last night (13 February) Tonio Borg, the European commissioner for health and consumer policy, said that a one-month test of meat in all member states would check for the presence of horse drugs harmful to human health.  

Problems first emerged in Ireland a month ago, but the scandal has since spread across the EU, affecting up to 16 member states and several food companies. Ireland's food safety authority announced on 15 January that it had discovered traces of horsemeat in beefburgers that were sold in Ireland and the UK, where horsemeat is very rarely eaten.

Last week Swedish company Findus recalled packs of its beef lasagne from British shops after Comigel, its French supplier, said that up to 100% of the product was horsemeat.  

The first results of the DNA tests are expected in the middle of April. “I am confident we will get to the bottom of this,” Borg said.  

Earlier in the day Borg said that the Commission was considering extending existing rules on place-of-origin labelling, which is obligatory for fresh meat, to processed food. “We are studying this through an impact assessment report,” he said.  
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.

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