November 20, 2017

Arrests Made in Horse Meat Scandal

The Food Standards Agency in the UK announced last week that three people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police on suspicion of fraud as a result of the investigation into the use of horse meat in the human food chain. FSA officers also investigated three facilities in England with local authorities and the police. One was in Hull and two were in Tottenham.

Computers and “documentary evidence” were removed from those facilities along with meat samples that were to be tested. Europol has been informed and is analyzing information in 35 countries about the scandal.

The arrests were made at Farmbox Meats near Aberystywth in Wales and at the Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.  The men arrested were 64, 42, and 63 years old, respectively. Approvals for both of those plants were suspended by the FSA. The persons arrested were detained on suspicion of offenses under the Fraud Act.

Meanwhile, it seems that a French wholesaler may be at the center of the scandal in Europe. According to the Globe and Mail, six horse carcasses that tested positive for phenylbutazone or “bute”, an equine painkiller, may have entered the human food chain in France. In fact, this contaminated meat could have been in the marketplace for some time.

The wholesaler should have known the meat was mislabeled because it was far below market price, according to Benoit Hamon, the French economic and consumer affairs minister who spoke at a news conference last week. Horse meat has been found in frozen burgers and lasagna, in beef pasta sauce, on restaurant menus, in meals served at hospitals, and in school lunches across Europe.

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