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The European Commission does not exclude a ban on the sale of horsemeat

15 February 2013 / 16:02:52  GRReporter
2302 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

So far, the European Commission has no information about the presence of substances hazardous to human health in horsemeat as stated by the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Affairs Tonio Borg in Athens.

He is in the Greek capital at the invitation of the Greek Minister of Health Andreas Likourentzos. During the press conference, which he gave to the media, however, the food scandal in connection with the horsemeat detected in meat products labelled as beef overshadowed other issues.

The European public’s concerns, however, were provoked by the probability of horsemeat containing the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone, which is hazardous to human health. Earlier today, three people were apprehended in the United Kingdom after the food regulator in the country announced that the results of the test for the medicine carried out on six horses were positive.

"So far, we know that a French company sold horsemeat instead of beef which was marked on the product label. Horsemeat is not dangerous to health, but consumers have the right to know what they eat. In this sense, the issue does not affect food safety", the Commissioner told reporters.
 
Tonio Borg stressed that the European Commission has ordered the commencement of intensified inspections of food in the member states of the European Union. "The national supervisory authorities will carry out quarterly inspections in two directions: The first will be to identify the origin of meat products through DNA samples, i.e. to found out whether the beef is mixed with horsemeat. Their second goal will be to express an opinion on whether the horsemeat intended for consumption contains  phenylbutazone. If this is confirmed, the European Commission will trigger the laws planned for such cases and will prohibit the export of horsemeat".

 

According to the Commissioner, the first results of the tests are expected in mid April and the final results will be officially announced.

Tonio Borg ensures that the European legislation provides for immediate actions and serious penalties in cases of proven violations in relation to food safety.

Tags: SocietyHorsemeatFood safetyEuropean CommissionTonio BorgPhenylbutazone
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