The Guardian reports that contaminated horsemeat could prove “injurious” to people’s health, the environment secretary Owen Paterson said on Sunday as he served notice on the public to expect “further bad news” this week.
Patersons’s remarks were the first government acknowledgment of a possible health threat after the discovery that food labelled as beef contained horsemeat. Last week it emerged that Findus lasagne contained up to 100% horsemeat. The Food Standards Agency is conducting tests to discover whether the veterinary drug phenylbutazone, known as bute, is in some of the horsemeat. Meat with the drug is not allowed to enter the human food chain.
Paterson agreed there would be a whole new ball game if horsemeat had come from Romania contaminated with equine anaemia, known as “horse Aids” even though it is not harmful to humans. “Romanian horsemeat is not allowed in,” Paterson said.