First results of horsemeat investigation

The vast majority of the controls carried out by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel - en Warenautoriteit - NVWA) into the trade in horsemeat have not detected the presence of horsemeat mixed with beef. Furthermore, no traces of banned drugs have been found in horsemeat. Tests have shown that products from a business in Oss did contain horsemeat mixed with beef.

The first results of the investigation were reported to the House of Representatives in a letter from Sharon Dijksma, Minister for Agriculture, also on behalf of Edith Schippers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport.

European consultations

The Dutch Minister for Agriculture urged her European counterparts to support coordination through Europol: "Fraudsters tracked in one country should not be allowed to leave that country only to continue their criminal activities in other countries. I would therefore like to see a European register of people and companies with previous convictions for these offences."

Research

The NVWA has to date taken over 370 samples from businesses, varying from slaughterhouses to supermarkets to establish whether their products contain beef mixed with horsemeat or banned animal medicines. Nothing of concern has been detected in any of the 203 samples taken to date. The NVWA investigation covers 160 companies and involves taking samples from meat scraps, minced meat and food products containing meat.

This major investigation by the NVWA resulted from reports from abroad and horsemeat detected in food products in the Netherlands which were produced abroad.