Though there are no safety issues caused by the presence of horse and pig in these products, Ireland's Food Standards Agency (FSA) spokesman told news sources that there's no explanation for the horse meat contamination, since the beef plants don't process other meats.
But it's not the first time this has happened, says UK's Channel 4 News, ten years ago investigators found "that one in nine salamis...contained undeclared horse or donkey meat."
Although the food manufacturer, Tesco, and the FSA say they don't know how this happened, they shouldn't be surprised. An investigation by the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found and reported last year that "Hundreds of unwanted horses" were "'being rounded up and sold into the food chain using false paperwork'."
We, the undersigned, are outraged by all aspects of this deception surrounding the discovery of horse meat in beef products, including the cruelty to horses, lying to the public and health safety concerns.
The in-depth investigation by Irish journalist John Mooney, which helped USPCA discover how "lorryloads of horses" were "being taken to abbatoirs in the middle of the night," has led Mooney to also question claims of safety "of the horsemeat discovered in the current scandal" - and whether false paperwork had been used in regard to health safety standards a well.
Not only is this practice illegal and cruel, labeling laws are also being broken. Channel 4 says "Regulation 15 of the Food Safety Act 1990 makes it an offence to label a food falsely, or in a way likely to mislead a purchaser." Channel 4 adds that "The nutritional information on packets of Tesco Everyday Value burgers states that they contain 63 per cent beef, along with flour, beef fatr, soya protein and various seasonings."
Clearly FSA has failed to properly regulate the beef production industry and has apparently ignored results of the investigation by USPCA. Along with that investigation and the fact that this deception has occurred in the past, FSA should have taken proper preventive action long ago.
We request it now do what is necessary to get horsemeat out of hamburgers and other beef products in the UK.