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Friday, February 15, 2013

The EU will increase checks to see if there are health risks in horse meat

The European Union (EU) adopted on Friday a series of stringent checks on beef and horse with two objectives: to ascertain the extent of the alleged fraud in the labeling of beef products processed and whether there are health risks in the horsemeat consumption. The move announced Wednesday the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, Tonio Borg, after a meeting with the seven countries that have been affected by the scandal of equine meat in burgers and beef labeled preparations: France, United Kingdom , Romania, Sweden, Luxembourg, Poland and Holland. Borg's announcement came a day before Thursday the government in Paris accused the French company Spanghero the scandal generated by the detection of horse meat in various dishes prepared were made ​​officially with beef. "Spanguero knew beef labeled as horse meat" or "at least there is a strong suspicion" , told reporters the French Minister of Consumer Affairs, Benoît Hamon, who explained that the firm had imported horse meat from Holland and, when he did, it was stated that it was of Romanian origin and that it was horse. Repeatedly, Brussels stressed that, at least so far, the scandal is only a problem of "mislabeling" behind which fraud could exist, but not a "health risk" because preliminary tests carried out not have identified health hazard in horse meat. However, the latest reports from London could turn around the situation, as the British Secretary of State for Agriculture, David Heath, revealed Thursday that horsemeat from the United Kingdom and contaminated with phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory potentially harmful to humans, could have entered the food chain in France. Consumer Community spokesman, Frederic Vincent said Thursday in a news conference that the Commission has known for years in some cases the presence of traces of the analgesic (known as "bute") in horse meat. "If it detects the presence of phenylbutazone in horsemeat in the food chain to be seen what additional measures can be taken, "he said. On the criticism that Brussels will not impose controls to detect the controversial anti-inflammatory in prepared foods, but only in the raw horsemeat, the spokesman said that "nothing prevents Member States to go beyond" and conduct these analyzes. recalled that the EU approve this Friday, through the Standing Committee on the Food Chain, Brussels recommendation to perform two sets of tests , which will take place from 1 to 30 March in all Member States. 2500 The first will include controls on beef used in processed foods such as lasagna or Bolognese sauces, and the second test will consist of 4000 that will take place in slaughterhouses, from horse carcasses. In Spain, there shall be a 200 tests in each case , sources Community. Brussels hopes to have the results of both controls on April 15. In the event that the findings so recommend, the test would last for two or three months. Although so far only seven countries have been directly affected by the scandal of horse meat, the Irish Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, whose country holds the EU presidency this semester, said at Wednesday's meeting that it is "a European problem that requires a European solution "

42 tons of horse meat

Precisely Ireland the country was first detected in DNA from horse burgers labeled beef. The scandal began horsemeat products in the UK earlier this month. Subsequently British food manufacturer Findus UK noted that some of their beef lasagne , provided by the French utility company, containing horse meat , which they later found out that it came from Romania. This past weekend it was revealed that horsemeat Romanian detected in ready meals Findus had been negotiated by merchants in Cyprus and the Netherlands before being acquired by a company in southern France and prepared by another in Luxembourg. As reported Thursday the French newspaper Le Parisien attaching invoices, the company bought an intermediary Spanghero Cypriot 42 tons of horse meat , which denied the company information. That intermediary Cypriot Draap Trading Company was led by a Dutch citizen, according to public broadcaster NOS, and was sentenced in the country to sell horse meat for beef by passing.

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