French police swoop on suspected unfit horsemeat ring
MARSEILLE (REUTERS) - Police arrested 21 people in raids on the horsemeat industry across southern France on Monday on suspicion that horses used to develop medicines were sold fraudulently for food, police and industry officials said.
A spokesman for pharmaceutical company Sanofi said it used the horses to incubate antibodies to manufacture serums for everything from rabies to snake bites, and they were in good health but not certified as fit for human consumption.
Spokesman Alain Bernal of the Sanofi Pasteur vaccine division said the firm was cooperating with investigation but did not know how long the fraud had been going on.
"It could involve hundreds of horses if this has been going on for several years. In the last three years, we must have discharged about 200 horses," he told Reuters.