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article imageAnother horsemeat scandal rears its ugly head in Spain, France

By Anne Sewell     Dec 16, 2013 in Food
The hits just keep on coming as yet another horsemeat scandal makes the headlines on Monday. It seems that horses, used for drug testing by a pharmaceutical company, have found their way into the food chain in Spain and France.
Reportedly police in both Spain and the south of France have made 21 arrests in various locations. The arrests follow an investigation into claims that hundreds of horses, including some owned by pharmaceutical giant Sanofi, were sold with falsified veterinary papers to local abattoirs.
France3 Television reported that between 2010 and 2012, hundreds of horses used for medical research were illegally sold off to the meat industry, instead of being put down.
In a statement from Sanofi, the company said it was cooperating with investigations into "possible fraud." The company said that it had sold around 200 horses over the last three years, normally to individuals, horse centers or veterinary colleges. However, it seems some of those went off the beaten track, so to speak.
Connexion is reporting that a horse trader bought horses from the pharmaceutical group in Alba-la-Romaine (Ardèche) for €10 and resold them for horsemeat at €300 through an intermediary.
According to the French media the majority of Monday's arrests were in the south of France, including the Côte d’Azur, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and the Midi-Pyrénées.
On the Spanish side of the scandal, police took part in a sting at a slaughterhouse in the north of the province of Girona, close to the French border, which was also thought to be involved in the trading of the horsemeat.
During 2013 many scandals involving horsemeat emerged, with the meat being packaged and sold off as beef and with more than four percent of the meat of the beef in Spain containing horse DNA. Similar incidences happened in France which became a European-wide scandal.
Later, the European Commission revealed that out of thousands of DNA tests they had run on European beef products , almost one in 20 meats, sold as "beef," were likely to be tainted with horse DNA.
So, if that dinner you ate in Spain or France recently gave you a "buzz" or a case of the "trots," you now know why.
More about Spain, France, Horsemeat, Horse meat, Pharmaceutical
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