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Horsemeat scandal set to spur tougher EU food tests

Published on Feb 14, 2013 5:55 AM
 
A man poses holding a Findus 320g beef lasagne frozen ready-meal near Sunderland on Feb 8, 2013. Tests confirming beef lasagne sold under the Findus brand contained up to 100 per cent horsemeat sparked a wider food scare in Britain. The European Commission has proposed increased DNA testing of meat products to assess the scale of a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concern over the continent's food supply chains. -- PHOTO: AFP

BRUSSELS (REUTERS) - The European Commission has proposed increased DNA testing of meat products to assess the scale of a scandal involving horsemeat sold as beef that has shocked the public and raised concern over the continent's food supply chains.

"The tests will be on DNA in meat products in all member states," European Union (EU) Health Commissioner Tonio Borg told reporters after a ministerial meeting in Brussels to discuss the affair.

The initial one-month testing plan would include premises handling horsemeat to check whether potentially harmful equine medicine residues have entered the food chain, Mr Borg said, with the first results expected by mid-April.

The scandal erupted when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that meat in products labelled as beef was in fact up to 100 per cent horsemeat. Operators in at least eight EU countries have since been dragged into the affair, raising fears of a pan-European labelling fraud.

 
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