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EU urges DNA tests of processed beef as horsemeat scandal widens

  • The European Union has urged its members to carry out random tests following a widening scandal over horsemeat sold as beef.

    All members should conduct DNA tests on processed beef for traces of horsemeat for three months from March 1, EU Health Commission Tonio Borg said on Wednesday.

    Horsemeat should also be tested for the presence of the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone, he added.

    Borg was speaking after a meeting with ministers from the UK, France and other affected countries in Brussels.

    The move comes after it was discovered that meat sold in nearly 16 European countries that was labelled as beef contained horsemeat.

    In the UK, supermarket chains Tesco and Aldi as well as frozen food firm Findus were found to have received horsemeat-tainted mince from Comigel, a company based in northeastern France.

    Horsemeat has since been found in some frozen lasagne on sale in France too.

    Comigel has denied any wrongdoing, saying the meat had been ordered from Spanghero, a firm in southern France, via one of its subsidiaries in Luxembourg.

    The supply chain reportedly leads back to traders in Cyprus and the Netherlands along with abattoirs in Romania.

    As a result, the scandal has raised questions over the food industry's supply chains across the 27-member EU bloc.

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