Horsemeat a health issue? “Yes, it is” “No, it isn’t”
(The Brits are acting like actors in Monty Python’s Flying Circus. The scandal has become a true-to-life comedy act, except this time the actors are playing with the lives of both people and horses. Ignoring the facts seem to indicate the difference between honesty and the influence of money- Jerry)
HORSEMEAT unwittingly eaten by British families in the “beef” scandal could be DANGEROUS, a Cabinet minister warned yesterday.
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said intensive tests are urgently being carried out on horsemeat found in supermarket ready meals.
He warned: “We may find out as the week progresses, and the tests begin to come in, there is a substance which is injurious to human health.”
But Mr Paterson, who will make a Commons statement today, admitted EU rules mean Britain CANNOT ban meat from other European countries — unless there is clear proof of a health risk.
Mr Paterson said the scandal was the result of “an international criminal conspiracy”.
He said: “Selling a product as beef, and including a lot of horse in it is fraud.”
MPs have already voiced concerns that some horsemeat could contain the veterinary drug phenylbutazone — or bute — which can trigger a serious blood disorder in humans.
The Food Standards Agency has confirmed it is now carrying out urgent checks to make sure bute has not entered the food chain
Mr Paterson yesterday suggested that tests on food products could reveal that substances in horse meat passed into the British food chain could prove “injurious to human health”.
The Prime Minister called Mr Paterson in to Downing Street this morning and later insisted that there is “no evidence of a risk to human health”.
The Government’s Chief Medical Officer has also issued a statement insisting that “there is nothing to suggest a safety risk to consumers who may have eaten the products”.
It has also emerged that Interpol, the international police organisation, has now been informed about the details of the growing horse meat scandal.
Mr Paterson yesterday said: “As we speak this morning this is an issue of fraud and a conspiracy against the public I think probably by criminal elements to substitute a cheap material for that which was marked on the label.