Asda boss' horsemeat shock

The boss of Asda today described his "shock" as revelations of the horsemeat contamination scandal broke, vowing to leave "no stone unturned" to address problems in the supply chain.

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Labour: 'The buck has to stop with Defra'

Supermarket sales have taken a battering from the recent horsemeat scandal.

Shadow Environment Minister Huw Irranca-Davies told Daybreak that the responsibility of solving the issue, lies with Defra.

He said the responsibility for food provenance goes right across the supply chain, and added that it was not "right" the Government had been "pointing their finger at the supermarkets" for blame.

Supermarkets to spell out plan to restore confidence

The Government will ask Britain's leading supermarkets to spell out today how they plan to restore consumer confidence following the horsemeat scandal.

Tesco supermarket in Vauxhall, London Credit: Press Association

Food retailers and trade bodies will meet the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson in Westminster this afternoon. It comes after some ministers said they were "frustrated" with the initial response from supermarkets when it emerged horsemeat had been found in some products.


Iceland blames councils for driving down food standards

The boss of Iceland has blamed local councils for driving down food standards and contributing to the horsemeat scandal.

Today, allegations that the government knew horsemeat entered the food chain as far back as 2011 have emerged, and the government says it is investigating.

Meanwhile, farmers' markets are reporting a hike in sales, as shoppers increasingly want to know where their meat has come from.

Iceland chief: Cheap food is driven by local authorities

Malcolm Walker, chief executive of Iceland, said retailers are not to blame for the horsemeat scandal, as food prices are being driven down by local authorities who operate an "invisible market" catering to schools, care homes and hospitals.

He said the horsemeat scandal has been "hyped out of all proportion."

"Cheap food doesn't come from supermarkets it is driven by local authorities trying to get their prices down. "

Local authorities hit back at Iceland horsemeat attack

The Local Government Association has hit back at criticisms from the Chief Executive of Iceland, who said the "invisible" market for cheap food for local authorities is to be blamed for driving down food standards.

Read: Iceland chief: Local authorities to blame

Mehboob Khan is Chairman of the LGA's safer communities board and leader of Kirklees Council. He said the blame lay firmly with manufacturers, suppliers and retailers:

The Chief Executive of Iceland seems a little confused. The law is 100 per cent clear that it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, supplier and retailer to make sure the product they sell us is what they say it is. There has been a major supply chain failure.

That's not the fault of consumers, councils or hospitals. The companies that supply our food need to take responsibility and focus on getting their house in order. The vast majority of retailers, caterers and manufacturers are doing this. Iceland should do the same.

Calls for Europe-wide overhaul of food testing

Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has called for a Europe-wide overhaul of food testing in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

Mr Paterson told Sky News that the current system relies too heavily on trusting paperwork that comes with meat shipments. He said:

The whole problem we have is that the system ... which is laid down from above trusts the paperwork. So it trusts that the pallet conforms to the piece of paper. No-one checks what is on the pallet often enough, no-one checks what is in production often enough, no-one checks the finished product often enough.

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