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Excerpts from a professional dialogue on the issue of economic adulteration of meat.

Claudine Watson • FSA issues statement on bute in horsemeat
The Agency has issued a statement on bute in horsemeat. Horses that have been treated with the drug phenylbutazone or ‘bute’ are not allowed to enter the food chain.
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) carries out checks in slaughterhouses to ensure that horses presented for slaughter are fit for human consumption, in the same way as they do for other animals such as sheep and cattle. The FSA also carries out regular enhanced sampling and testing for phenylbutazone in meat from horses slaughtered in the UK.
In 2012, the FSA identified five cases where horses returned non-compliant results. None of the meat had been placed for sale on the UK market. Where the meat had been exported to other countries, the relevant food safety authorities were informed.
During the recent horsemeat incident the Food Safety Authority of Ireland checked for the presence of phenylbutazone and the samples came back negative.

Atef Idriss • I think this is an unacceptable violation of consumer rights.If food safety authorities have not cracked down on the whole supply chain (with producers, suppliers and retailers, to name only the main culprits)Then there is something totally wrong .
I wonder if EU value chains , and related standards of identity , and horizontal specifications could not allow such major violations or adulterations ,as suggested by Mr Whitehead !?
MEFOSA sells species identification kits , do visit for more information.

Atef Idriss ∙ I agree with Fred, and with my limited experience with UK retailers I believe they have a long way to go in addressing preventive paradigms at the private sector level.
At the macro level, the FDA/FSMA ( and not the UK FSA )is such a tool , and EU & UK food safety scientists and practitioners should be encouraged to address local and regional platforms on harmonization of testing and accreditation ...
MEFOSA supports the GHI and MENAFST and tries to bring best harmonization practices to the EURO MED zone.

Atef Idriss ∙ Prompt and appropriate actions should stop dumping adulterated foods elsewhere. Global Harmonization Initiative (GHI) has been addressing such issues ,and in a recent IUFoST convention research papers were presented addressing such regional anomalies ,Visit www, , and you will find relevant material .

Atef Idriss ∙ Gentlemen , I suggest on top of consumer protection , standards of identity ,and quality violations issues , we need to confirm the economic adulteration nature of things here !

Victor Goodridge ∙ Atef, I apologise for the personalisation of this argument. My intention was to do the same as you - bring the discussion back to an examination of the real problem. The event was not one of food safety per se but one of financial fraud. Horse and pig meat are not inherently unsafe, but they were not what the customers thought they were buying.

Atef Idriss ∙ Victor , I appreciate your comment ,and at core here is our ability to address root causes ,and this is what I feel Fred and all are concerned about.
It is our profession that is at stake and food scientists need to call food fraud by the name!


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