- 35 updates
A solicitor representing Farmbox Meats, the Welsh processing firm which is being investigated for allegedly mislabelling horse as beef, has released a statement saying:
A senior scientist claims a sudden EU ban on "desinewed meat" led suppliers to search for cheaper sources of beef.
Dr Mark Woolfe, formerly of the Food Standards Agency (FSA), told The Times (£) that the FSA gave just two days notice when desinewed beef and lamb - where a fine mince is produced by mechanically rubbing the fleshy remains off the bones - was banned from being called meat.
"I don't think people realised the significance of it on the food chain," Dr Woolfe said. "A lot of suppliers were not able to find alternative sources of cheap meat and that is when things started to go wrong".
Freshlink Foods, which supplies Waitrose with frozen products, said it has carried out 450 DNA tests during the last two and a half years and all the results were negative for "non-declared species".
"Freshlink will share all results directly with the FSA [Food Standards Agency] as part of their investigations," owner the ABP Food Group said.
The president of the Association of Public Analysts, which represents the scientists carrying out tests on suspect meat, said funding cuts meant there are not enough experts to do the job.
"We don't really have enough people to do the job. Unfortunately the public analysts service has deteriorated over the last few years due to closing laboratories and reduced numbers of public analysts," Liz Moran told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"I don't think there are sufficient resources," she added.
Agriculture Minister David Heath said retailers and food distributors have assured him they are "on track to share meaningful test results by Friday" following the horsemeat scandal.
Mr Heath said he reiterated to them during today's meeting that the current situation is "totally unacceptable".
Prime Minister David Cameron has called the horsemeat scandal an "appalling situation", stressing that if criminal activity has taken place "there should be the full intervention of the law".
Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Mr Cameron said an enhanced testing regime not only found contamination, but discovered that in some instances horsemeat had been passed off as beef.
He called the discovery "completely unacceptable".
The slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, is still closed this morning after the Food Standards Agency's investigation last night.
There is no sign of the owner. Someone from the farm told me earlier that all comments will be to the authorities from now on.
Waitrose has sent an email to its customers after tests showed two batches of its frozen beef meatballs contained traces of pork.
Waitrose Managing Director Mark Price wrote:
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has described the recent raids on two meat plants as "an important development".
He said in a written ministerial statement:
Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said she will not buy mince in a ready meal or packet as a "precautionary principle".
Ms Creagh told BBC Radio 5 Live, "Let's just say that I'm not very keen on mince at the moment, I think I know a bit too much now".
Latest ITV News reports
A group of MPs have pointed out where they think the retailers and the Government went so badly wrong amid the horsemeat scandal.