News / Europe

Horse Meat Scandal Spreads Across Europe

Horse Meat Scandal Spreads Across Europei
X
February 18, 2013 12:03 AM
A horse meat scandal that started in Britain and Ireland is now unnerving consumers around Europe. DNA tests have revealed that beef tainted with horse meat has made it into supermarkets in 13 European Union nations. Stores, schools, and hospitals are scrambling to remove some meat. And there are calls for tighter regulation of Europe's complex food supply chain. Michael Scaturro reports for VOA from Berlin.

Horse Meat Scandal Spreads Across Europe

Michael Scaturro

A horse meat scandal that started in Britain and Ireland is now unnerving consumers around Europe. DNA tests have revealed that beef tainted with horse meat has made it into supermarkets in 13 European Union nations. Stores, schools, and hospitals are scrambling to remove some meat. And there are calls for tighter regulation of Europe's complex food supply chain.

The scandal started in Ireland and the United Kingdom in January, but has since spread all around the EU. DNA checks on beef have found that some products, including hamburgers, contained as much as 30 percent horse meat. The list of tainted products has since widened to include frozen lasagna, tortellini, and bolognese sauce.

Europol, the EU's police agency, is leading a Europe-wide fraud investigation. So far, three men are under arrest in England and Wales. They are accused of disguising cheap horse meat as frozen beef. The arrests come as French authorities said meat wholesaler Spanghero re-labeled and sold horse meat from Romanian suppliers. The company denies wrongdoing. By Friday, supermarkets in Germany, Denmark, Hungary, and elsewhere had begun recalling suspect products.

In the German capital, Berlin, consumer safety experts say they are now checking all kinds of meat products.

"We haven't found anything yet in Germany or Berlin, but the research here just started, so I can't promise that we won't find anything later," said. Thomas Heilmann, from the Berlin Office of Consumer Protection

This lab in Berlin, and others around Germany, are also testing meat for phenylbutazone or bute, a pain medication given to horses and found in some samples tested in other EU countries.

Technician Andreas Hlinak says it is too soon to know how much horse meat exists in beef sold in Germany.

"We've received samples, including samples from veterinary agencies, and have begun our tests. We expect to have the results ready on the samples we received this week by the middle of next week," Hlinak said.

Hlinak says his lab employees are going into local supermarkets themselves to obtain samples.

Some food safety experts are blaming supermarkets for pushing down prices and squeezing wholesalers. Others think lax inspections are to blame. As for the supermarkets - they say they have been tricked too, and promise tougher inspections of their own going forward.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Barbara Griffith from: United States
February 18, 2013 5:31 PM
Many thousands of lb's of horse meat is sold in the EU every year that originates in Canada and Mexico by way of United States. US horses are not raised for food as are beef and other animals and poultry. Horses here are considered pets, working horses such as on ranches, racing etc. There is no passport system in place, nor will there ever be, for tracing the medications all US horses receive some on a daily basis such as racehorses. There is not one US horse that has not received Bute in its lifetime. Bute is a known carcinogen that renders the horse unfit for human consumption ever, once the horse is given just one dose. No matter how long the horse is kept in a feedlot Bute does not disappear from its system. Horses from North America are given numerous drugs including Rabies Vaccines.

Since horse meat is considered cheap meat it may well be found or mixed with beef in snacks such as meat sticks, jerky etc. This should also be checked. Canada has been shipping contaminated horse meat to Europe for years because they also do not have any passport system for the checking of drugs the horses might have been given that is just like what the US does.
Eat at your own risk.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid