Eat­ing Horse Meat?

Horse meat: Mem­ber States en­dorse the Com­mis­sion's con­trol plan to de­tect fraud in the mar­ket­ing of foods

Westcoast German News - - Table Of Contents -

To­day, at an ex­tra­or­di­nary Stand­ing Com­mit­tee of the Food Chain and An­i­mal Health (SCoFCAH) or­ga­nized by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, the Mem­ber States en­dorsed the co­or­di­nated plan an­nounced by Health & Con­sumer Pol­icy Com­mis­sioner To­nio Borg on Wed­nes­day 13th Fe­bru­ary.

Com­mis­sioner Borg said : "I wel­come the swift ap­proval by the Mem­ber States of the plan I tabled two days ago and I call on them to keep up the pres­sure in their ef­forts to iden­tify a clear pic­ture and a se­quence of events. Con­sumers ex­pect the EU, national au­thor­i­ties and all those in­volved in the food chain to give them all the rein­sur­ance needed as re­gards what they have in their plates".

This plan, co-fi­nanced by the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion, is to start im­me­di­ately for one month and in­cludes two ac­tions:

Es­tab­lish­ment of the pres­ence of un­la­belled horse meat in foods: Over the last days, of­fi­cial con­trols in some Mem­ber States re­vealed fraud in the mar­ket­ing of foods: cer­tain foods con­tained horse meat not de­clared in the list of in­gre­di­ents and their name re­ferred solely to the pres­ence of beef. The plan, fore­sees con­trols, mainly at re­tail level, of foods des­tined for the fi­nal con­sumer and mar­keted as con­tain­ing beef to de­tect the pres­ence of un­la­belled horse meat (in­dica­tive to­tal num­ber of 2250 sam­ples across the Union rang­ing from 10 to 150 per Mem­ber State). Un­der cur­rent EU rules, the name of foods which only sug­gest the pres­ence of beef meat where, in fact, also other species of meat are present, is mis­lead­ing and breach­ing the leg­is­la­tion. In the same way, la­belling of foods con­tain­ing horse­meat is not in line with the Union food la­belling leg­is­la­tion, if the pres­ence of horse meat is not men­tioned in the list of in­gre­di­ents.

De­tec­tion of pos­si­ble residues of phenylbu­ta­zone in horse meat: the plan fore­sees test­ing of 1 sam­ple for ev­ery 50 tons of horse meat. A Mem­ber State will carry out a min­i­mum of 5 tests. Phenylbu­ta­zone is a ve­teri­nary medic­i­nal prod­uct whose use in food pro­duc­ing an­i­mals, in­clud­ing horses, is il­le­gal.

The plan pro­vides for reg­u­lar re­port­ing of the re­sults of the con­trols to the Com­mis­sion, such as in­for­ma­tion on sam­pling, type of anal­y­sis and fol­low-up con­trols. For pos­i­tive find­ings re­lated to horse meat, the coun­try where the an­i­mals con­cerned were cer­ti­fied for slaugh­ter will also be re­ported. All th­ese in­for­ma­tion will be in­cluded in the Rapid Alert Sys­tem for Food and Feed (RASFF) so that they can be im­me­di­ately used by Mem­ber States' au­thor­i­ties.

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