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England’s farming minister admitted that eight horses slaughtered in the UK tested positive for phenylbutazone, a pain killer for horses that can be very dangerous to humans. The environment minister David Heath told officials that out of 206 carcasses tested by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in response to the widening horse meat scandal, six tested positive, and may have entered the food chain in France, The Guardian reports.

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Mary Creagh, who is the shadow environment minister, says she raised the alarm three weeks ago that “bute” may have entered the food chain, but that the government has responded with “catastrophic complacency,” according to The Guardian.

The veterinary residues committee (VRC) has also warned about the dangers of bute entering the food chain since it has “the potential for serious adverse effects in consumers, such as blood dyscrasia [a rare but very serious, life-threatening, condition].”

Between 2007 and 2011, 50 out of the 8,000 or so horse carcasses slaughtered each year for meat were tested for bute, and two to five percent of the samples came back positive. However, the Findus products that contained horse DNA have not tested positive for bute. The plot thickens.

Via The Guardian