24 Feb 2013

Let them eat horsemeat, says German minister

3:04 pm on 24 February 2013

A German government minister has suggested food containing horsemeat should be distributed to the poor following its discovery in beef products across Europe.

German development minister Dirk Niebel said good food should not be wasted and he supported the proposal by a member of the governing CDU party to give it to the poor.

The opposition has dismissed the idea as absurd and an insult to poor people but the senior representative of the Evangelical Church in Germany backed the proposal, the BBC reports.

Mr Niebel said there were 800 million people in the world who were hungry.

"Even in Germany, unfortunately there are people for whom it is financially tight, even for food. I think that we can't just throw away good food here in Germany."

On Friday evening, Germany's consumer affairs ministry announced that it had now found traces of horse DNA in 67 of 830 food products tested.

In the latest development in the scandal, traces of horse DNA have been found in minced beef and processed food seized from a company in Italy.

The traces were found in six tonnes of minced beef and 2400 packs of lasagne bolognese packaged by Italian group Primia. It is the first positive test in Italy since the scandal erupted last month.

The health ministry said the company had used meat from another firm in Italy and originally supplied by two other companies, also based in Italy.

The Italian authorities said they had found no traces of horsemeat in beef products seized this week from the Swiss food giant, Nestle.

Nestle had announced that it was withdrawing two types of beef pasta meals from supermarkets in Italy and Spain after test revealed traces of horse DNA.