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FULL REPORT: "Bute" found in horse meat

Horse meat from a Somerset abattoir has been found to contain traces of a potentially harmful painkiller. The government's Food Standards Agency said six horses recently slaughtered by LJ Potter Partners in Taunton contained bute

The carcasses were sent to France where they may have entered the food chain. The abattoir in Staplegrove in the town insists it's done nothing wrong. Bob Cruwys spent the day there

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West Country (W)

Minister: 'long, hard look needed at supply processes'

Kerry McCarthy (Lab, Bristol East) today asked whether the Taunton horse meat scandal was just the tip of the iceberg as far as food origins were concerned. The painkiller bute has been found in horse meat slaughtered in Taunton and then exported for possible consumption in France.

The Agriculture Minister David Heath MP (Lib Dem, Somerton and Frome) agreed that more needed to be done by food processing companies and retailers across Europe to check exactly where their ingredients had come from.

West Country (W)

Contaminated horse meat came from Taunton

Horse meat which contained the painkiller bute came from a slaughterhouse in Taunton. The meat was then exported to France, where it may have entered the food chain.

Food standards agents tested 206 carcasses, and found bute in 8 of them. 6 were slaughtered at LJ Potter Partners at Stillman’s (Somerset) Ltd, Taunton and exported to France before the test results were known. A quicker, 48-hour test has now been introduced.

The health risk from eating low levels of bute is low, but it is illegal in food products, and this incident raises questions about how much bute was in the Romanian horse meat that has illegally entered the UK food chain.

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