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The horse meat scandal in the UK and Europe has taken a new turn since it has emerged that food contaminated with equine DNA may be linked to international mafia gangs. In the last few weeks it has emerged that some products on UK shelves have contained as much as 100 percent horse meat, leading to widespread DNA testing. According to The Guardian, sources close to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) say that organized criminal gangs may be running an international operation to substitute beef with horse meat during production.
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While certain Benelux countries don’t mind a bit of horse meat on their plate, residents of the UK have been very disturbed by the growing scandal which now appears to have links to the Italian and Polish mafia, The Guardian reports. UK environmental secretary Owen Paterson met with food industry leaders over the weekend to discuss a plan to step up DNA testing and cautioned that on Friday, when the results of testing on ground or crushed beef products are released, there could be more “bad news.”
Paterson also said that if necessary the government’s Serious and Organized Crime Agency would be brought on board to investigate. Experts within the horse industry told The Observer that vets and food workers within abattoirs and other food production centers are intimidated by these criminal elements to sign off on horse meat that is posing as beef. Meanwhile, Paterson says the ultimate responsibility lies with retailers to ensure “the integrity” of their food labels.
Via The Guardian