18 Apr 2013

One in 20 'beef' meals in Europe tainted with horse

6:01 am on 18 April 2013

Thousands of DNA tests on European beef products have revealed extensive food fraud across the European Union, with almost one in 20 meals marketed as beef likely to be tainted with horse.

The results of more than 400 tests have been released by the European Commission, which says 193 products or almost 5% contained positive traces of horsemeat DNA.

A further 3000 tests for the painkiller known as bute, which is used for horses and can be harmful to humans, found just 16 samples contained traces of the drug, AFP report.

Fourteen of the samples were found in Britain, one in Ireland and one in the Czech Republic.

A EU commissioner says the DNA findings confirm the controversy is a case of food fraud not food safety.