Food Standard Agency’s acceptance about exporting the positive tested 5 horses to France for eating purposes, for a drug considered harmful for humans has caused massive uproar
The news about contaminated horse meat being sold for food in the EU first broke in a national debate when Mary Creagh, the shadow environment secretary of UK, brought to the notice of the house that action is necessary to be taken against the entry of contaminated horsemeat into the human food chain.
Ms Creagh argued that injections, Phenylbutazone called bute for short, given to horses which had later been taken to the abattoir for meat. Traces of this contaminated meat had been found in burgers being sold by some restaurants in UK and Ireland. The restaurants later issued public apologies for selling these burgers.
Ms Creagh’s claims based on the report filed by the Food Standards Agency or FSA that it had found eight horses which got detected administered with Phenylbutazone, but had not entered the food chain. The FSA keeps track of contamination in animals by carrying out investigations on all cattle, sheep and horses brought to the slaughterhouses.
Phenylbutazone is a substance given to horses when they become lame. It is also used to relieve the horses from fever and pain. There is a suspicion that the drug causes cancer in humans though there is no evidence that it does so. The use of this drug banned in the EU based on these suspicions unless proven otherwise.
David Heath, the agriculture minister seemed to know the results of the tests provided by FSA and was sure that no contaminated meat had entered the food chain. In reply Ms Creagh asked the government to reverse its decision to do away with the National Equine Database, which used to have histories on the drugs used by all animals in the UK.
Mr. Heath reiterated that the passports issued to the horses in UK could do the same job and there was no need to revive the National Equine Database. Furthermore, the negative results, that phenylbutazone causes cancer in humans is a far-fetched idea as cancer can also be caused by other drugs also.
And the argument on contaminated horse meat being sold for food is still continuing with both parties blaming each other for their lapses.
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