Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has questioned the ‘fragmentation of responsibility’ for food safety and standards in the UK following the news that some ‘beef’ products could contain up to 100% horse meat.
The Labour politician has reacted to the announcement from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that some Findus beef lasagne could contain between 60% and 100% horsemeat, posting on Twitter:
‘This Govt has forgotten the lessons of previous food scandals: producer interest capture is lethal the consumer must come first #horsemeat’
Catherine Brown, the FSA’s chief executive, told the BBC last night that it was "highly likely" that criminal activity was to blame for horsemeat being found in some meals.
Mr Bradshaw went on to question the lack of involvement from the Department for Environment, food & Rural Affairs (defra), tweeting:
‘Has defra secretary Owen Paterson been asked yet whether or not he would feed his children a processed beef product?’
Findus has withdrawn its beef lasagne in 320g, 360g and 500g sizes as a precaution. Other products removed include some Aldi, Asda, Iceland and Tesco beef products, including Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese, after concerns were raised.
The FSA has said it will co-ordinate a UK-wide survey of beef products to test for the possible presence of horse or pig DNA.
The agency has said that twenty-eight local authorities across the UK will take a total of 224 samples, with results due to be published in April.
The Horse meat scandal originated on January 16 after The Food Safety Authority of Ireland said beef burgers with traces of equine DNA were being supplied to supermarkets in the UK, leading to 10 million burgers removed from Supermarket shelves.
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