Thursday, 14 February 2013

Agriculture ministers announce random DNA testing and Europol probe

The European Law enforcement agency Europol is to co ordinate a criminal investigation into the horse meat scandal across several countries.

The European Commission has also announced the introduction of random DNA testing of processed beef products.

The Commission will contribute half of the estimated €3m cost.

The moves form part of a series of recommendations put forward after Agriculture Ministers from eight of the EU countries implicated in the scandal met in Brussels yesterday.

Farmers have welcomed the proposals and IFA president John Bryan said that tighter controls and inspections are needed as well more detailed food labelling.

"Retail regulation that would mean 100% accurate labelling and traceability, where every product would have country of origin, country reared, country slaughtered," he said.

"And if a secondary processor decided to have products from other countries, each one of those countries would have to be listed on the package, but the level of enforcement on labelling hasn't been adequate."

Last night's meeting also agreed to test for bute - a powerful horse anti-inflammatory drug which could pose a health risk if passed on to humans.

The three-month regime of checks - expected to be endorsed by the EU's Standing Committee on the Food Chain of Friday - will be launched in March with 2,500 random tests on processed food for horse DNA and 4,000 for bute. The results will be declared on April 15.
Orignal Article Here

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