Horsemeat scandal highlights lack of traceability
Different cuts of meat - including roast beef and rolled meat (rouladen) - from young foals form part of the horsemeat items on sale at butcher Bert Hobold's shop in Recklinghausen, Germany, 12 February 2013. EPA PhotoThere is no health risk, as the spokesman for the European Commission has repeated.
But the discovery of horsemeat in “beef” lasagna produced by Europe-wide frozen food conglomerate Findus and sold in the UK could mask some serious problems, according to Jacques La Cacheux, an agricultural economist at the French Economic Observatory (OFCE).
The food-labelling scandal has indeed created an uproar in the beef industry and among consumers, with many supermarkets removing the affected frozen meals from their stock.
Benoît Hamon, the French minister for consumer affairs, told reporters after an emergency meeting on February 11 that it was too early to say whether this was a case of “negligence” or “deliberate fraud”, and that more information would be available within 48 hours. Anti-fraud investigators have already begun inspections of multiple food production sites in France.
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