Defra: Meat 'no risk to human health'

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has sought to play down any concerns that the horsemeat scandal could pose a risk to the public today, after tests were ordered on meat products for the veterinary drug phenylbutazone. A Defra spokesman said:

There is currently no evidence of a risk to human health. Owen Paterson was quite clear that while we must be prepared to find more evidence of fraud, there is not a food safety risk at present.

The FSA (Food Standards Agency) has said that unless there is advice to avoid a specific product, there is no reason for people to change their shopping habits.

The Government and the FSA are working with authorities across Europe, including police, to get to the bottom of this unacceptable situation.