Two companies embroiled in the horsemeat scandal have revealed they are ready to sue further down the supply chain, as the investigation spreads across Europe and a government minister has warned more contamination may be found in other food. Read more on this unfolding saga...
Speaking after emergency talks with industry leaders Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, said: "There may well be more bad results coming through, that's the point of doing this random analysis.
"This is a conspiracy against the public. Selling a product as beef, and including a lot of horse in it is fraud.".....
Police and FSA raid meat companies
Police and food hygiene officers have raided and shut down a British abattoir and a meat manufacturer as part of an inquiry into the adulteration of beef products with horsemeat.
The Food Standards Agency said it had uncovered apparently “blatant misleading of consumers” by the manufacture of kebabs and burgers that allegedly contained horse. Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, called it “absolutely shocking”, as he prepared to fly to Brussels for a horsemeat summit.
Investigators, backed by police, swooped on a West Yorkshire abattoir and a meat-processing plant in north Wales and ordered their immediate closure after seizing paperwork, including the companies’ client lists.
In a day of rapid developments in the deepening scandal, Waitrose said it had withdrawn its Essential British Frozen Meatballs after pork was detected in two batches. The supermarket said the “contradictory” results on the meatballs with a best-before date of 13 June and 13 August had caused it to withdraw them from sale.....
Horsemeat found in 'fresh beef' as tests overwhelm laboratories
Ministers are struggling to reassure consumers over the horsemeat
scandal after tests revealed potentially dangerous contamination of meat
with veterinary drugs and Asda confirmed the first trace of horse had
been found in a fresh beef product.
Overwhelmed laboratories are
warning that the industry may not fully comply with Friday's deadline
for completing tests for horse in all beef products, raising the
prospect that the government will be unable to give British food a clean
bill of health for days.....
Is Romania a reason for the horsemeat scandal?
A law banning horses from Romanian roads may be responsible for the surge in the fraudulent sale of horsemeat on the European beef market, a French politician has suggested.
Horse-drawn carts were a common form of transport for centuries in Romania, but hundreds of thousands of the animals are feared to have been sent to the abattoir after the change in road rules.
The law, which was passed six years ago but only enforced recently, also banned carts drawn by donkeys, leading to speculation among food-industry officials in France that some of the “horse meat” which has turned up on supermarket shelves in Britain, France and Sweden may, in fact, turn out to be donkey meat.
“Horses have been banned from Romanian roads and millions of animals have been sent to the slaughterhouse,” said Jose Bove, a veteran campaigner for small farmers who is now vice-president of the European Parliament agriculture committee.
After a couple of days in which the horsemeat affair was seen as a largely British problem, the scandal began to be taken seriously by French politicians and newspapers over the weekend.
The French consumer minister, Benoît Hamon, has said that he would not hesitate to take legal action if evidence emerged that the two French companies which handled the meat had been aware of the fraud.
In passing, Hamon also took a swipe at the British Government. He said that London was complaining about weak European food inspection while cutting the budget for EU food-safety checks in Brussels.....
Horsemeat: Why did no one want to disclose full scale of scandal?
Since the start of the crisis last month, manufacturers, retailers and food officials have given every impression of not wanting to disclose the full unvarnished truth to the public about the contamination of the meat supply system.
Statements have been released late in the day, conveying inadequate and partial information, all expressed in the bland language of officialdom.
Perhaps mindful of creating an economically-damaging food scare, food safety officials and ministers have repeatedly stressed that the unlabelled horse is safe to eat – but, as the leading food scientist Duncan Campbell pointed out to The Independent last month: how can they be certain?.....
SA in the clear?
Meanwhile, Findus South Africa has assured consumers that products sold in the country have no horsemeat in them. "Of all the products we receive, only one of the 17 is beef and there is no issue with it," said head of Findus in SA, Felix Rapheb, on Eyewitness News. "All our products are made in Sweden."