Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies has previously said that 'bute' poses only a very low risk to humans. She said:
– Professor Dame Sally Davies, chief medical officer
Horse meat containing phenylbutazone presents a very low risk to human health.
'Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis.
The levels of bute that have previously been found in horse carcasses mean that a person would have to eat 500 - 600 one hundred per cent horsemeat burgers a day to get close to consuming a human's daily dose.
And it passes through the system fairly quickly, so it is unlikely to build up in our bodies.