EU proposes DNA tests for horsemeat traces in beef
Brussels: In a bid to tackle the widening horsemeat scandal in Europe, European Union Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told the member countries to conduct DNA tests on processed beef.
EU members should go for DNA tests of beef for horsemeat traces for three months from 1 March and the beef must also be tested for the presence of a veterinary medicine named phenylbutazone, the health commissioner said , as reported by the BBC.
EU’s recommendation of performing beef DNA tests was earlier proposed by the UK, which was present at the EU meeting in Brussels, where the decision was taken.
Millions of burgers and frozen meals have been recalled around Europe and many accusations have been made, but so far it's not clear how horsemeat got introduced into so many beef products.
The scandal came to the light for the first time in Ireland, which reported upto 100 pc horsemeat in products labelled as beef.
French authorities have already pointed to an elaborate supply chain that involved Romanian butchers and Dutch and Cypriot traders that resulted in horsemeat disguised as beef being sold in meals like lasagna and moussaka to consumers around the continent.
Britain's Food Standards Agency said it suspended production at the Peter Boddy slaughterhouse in northern England's Yorkshire and a company it allegedly supplied horse carcasses to, Farmbox Meats, in west Wales. The agency said it was investigating how "meat products, purporting to be beef for kebabs and burgers, were sold when they were in fact horse."
Horsemeat is largely taboo in Britain and Ireland, though in France it is sold in specialty butcher shops. While no health effects have been reported, the scandal has unsettled consumers and made clear that unscrupulous dealers in the complicated network of meat wholesalers are benefiting from selling much cheaper horsemeat as beef.
With Agency Inputs