Horse Meat Found in 5% of Beef in Europe

EU commission promises stricter standards

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 16, 2013 5:08 PM CDT

(Newser) – Bite into beef anywhere in Europe, and there's a 5% chance you're actually biting into horse meat. An EU study across 27 nations in the wake of the region's horse meat scandal found that 5% of beef products had some horse DNA, reports the BBC. France and Greece were the worst offenders. Of those horse-meat samples, about 0.5% were positive for a banned animal painkiller known as phenylbutazone, reports the Wall Street Journal. "Bute" is considered a health risk for humans.

EU officials promised to put into place tougher rules and penalties—including prison time—on food labeling. But all in all, they said the study showed that people were deceived but not endangered. "Today's findings have confirmed that this is a matter of food fraud and not of food safety," says the EU health commissioner.

Two beef patties in Ireland.
Two beef patties in Ireland.   (AP Photo/Niall Carson/PA)
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