Major investigation into use and trade of horsemeat

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit - NVWA) is conducting a major investigation into horsemeat fraud.

The NVWA is visiting around 100 businesses, from slaughterhouses to supermarkets, taking 200 samples of meat scraps, mince meat and food products containing meat. The objective of the investigation is to establish whether the products contain horsemeat labelled as beef.

The NVWA is also investigating labels at 40 businesses, verifying the identity of the meat and reviewing administrative records. The details of the investigation were disclosed in a letter to the House of Representatives from Sharon Dijksma, Minister for Agriculture also on behalf of Edith Schippers, Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport.

'It is unacceptable that consumers should be deliberately misled for the sake of profiteering', said Minister Dijksma. The European Commission has proposed carrying out checks in all Member States over the coming months. The checks will focus on testing meat products that may contain horsemeat. The horsemeat will also be tested for banned substances.

As of Monday 11 February 2013, the NVWA has not only carried out checks at suspected companies, but has also performed random spot checks on businesses throughout the Netherlands. This has resulted in a ban on the use or trade of meat at one company.