Agriculture minister David Heath told the Commons the Food Standards Agency checks all meat to ensure it is fit for human consumption, following claims by Wakefield MP, Mary Creagh that carcinogens may have made their way into the food chain through contaminated horse meat.
A drug with the potential to cause cancer in humans might have entered the food chain through horse meat slaughtered in UK abattoirs, Labour has claimed.
Shadow environment secretary and Wakefield MP Mary Creagh told the Commons she had evidence that "several" horses slaughtered in the UK last year tested positive for the carcinogen phenylbutazone.
It's after a Dalepak factory in North Yorkshire was implicated in the horse meat in beefburgers scandal last week. Bosses at the ABP foods plant in Leeming bar insisted only a trace amount was found in their products.
Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey has announced that the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee will be examining the contamination of beef products sold in UK supermarkets later this month.
Legal action is being considered against a company whose North Yorkshire factory is at the centre of the scandal over horse meat in beef burgers.
The Food Standards Agency, the UK's food watchdog, is investigating how the meat, which was sold at some of the country's leading supermarkets, became contaminated.
Brindon Addy is the Chairman of the Q Guild Butchers organisation, which represents top independent butchers. He says the pressure to drive down prices could be to blame for Horse meat getting into Beefburgers.
Mary Creagh is the Shadow Environment Secretary and MP for Wakefield. She says consumers will understandably be upset and that the scare will affect their confidence in the food industry.
This is the meat processing plant in North Yorkshire which is at the centre of a food safety probe after beefburgers supplied to leading supermarkets were found to contain horsemeat.
Products from the Dalepak Hambleton plant in Northallerton and two other facilities in Ireland were investigated by a food safety watchdog. The burgers were on sale at Tesco, Lidl, Aldi, Iceland and Dunnes Stores, but it is not known which plant supplied the contaminated meat.
Following the withdrawal of its Oakhurst Beef Burgers (8 Pack) in the Republic of Ireland yesterday, Aldi has made the decision to withdraw three products from sale in the UK as a "purely precautionary measure" whilst it conducts further investigations.
- Frozen Oakhurst 100% Beef Quarter Pounders
- Frozen Specially Selected Aberdeen Angus Quarter Pounders
- Frozen Oakhurst Burgers 16 pack
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland has identified porcine and equine DNA at trace levels in two consignments of burgers produced at the Dalepak production facility at Hambleton in Yorkshire. The FSAI stress that there is no food safety issue with these burgers. A spokesman for Dalepak said: