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Horsemeat scandal was "food fraud"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 01:48

April 16 - EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg denies health concerns of horsemeat scandal, but rather an issue of fraud. Ciara Sutton reports.

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It started with a frozen Findus lasagna and resulted in changed eating habits across Europe. But only now has the European Commission revealed the results of its investigation into the horsemeat scandal. It's spent three months testing products from 11 EU countries. France tops the table - around 13% of the samples tested positive for more than 1% horse DNA. Greece followed with 12.5 percent. And Germany and Italy both revealed around 3 percent of contaminated samples. The results only offer a hint about the scale of the problem. But EU's health Commissioner Tonio Borg says it's a question of food fraud not food safety. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EU COMMISSIONER ON HEALTH AND CONSUMER POLICY TONIO BORG, SAYING: "I believe that we should adopt new measures, and I am proposing new measures to member states in order to decrease the possibility of abuse in the future. This would include a second look at the horse passport system, but also persuading member states to impose penalties, particularly the pecuniar penalties, which would be proportionate also to the economic gain, which is made by those who indulge illegally in fraudulent labeling." There were no positive results for Britain, where horsemeat has previously been found in burgers and numerous other products. But EU officials say the UK recorded the most positive results for a banned anti-inflammatory horse drug - known as bute That was discovered during a second set of EU-wide tests on meat destined for human consumption. A complete review of the UK's food chain is already underway And the scandal has damaged confidence in vast sections of Europe's food industry. Sales of processed ready-meals have fallen significantly while demand for organic produce has grown .

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Horsemeat scandal was "food fraud"

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 01:48