independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Food group ABP set to fight meat trader suit over horse scandal

Martin McAdam claims the ABP Food group deliberately made "false and malicious allegations" about him and his business to deflect media attention.
Martin McAdam claims the ABP Food group deliberately made "false and malicious allegations" about him and his business to deflect media attention.

The owner of a meat trading company is to sue the factory at the centre of the horsemeat contamination scandal for defamation.

Martin McAdam of McAdam Food Products claims the ABP Food group deliberately made defamatory allegations about him and his business.

ABP confirmed to the Irish Independent that its lawyers were notified earlier this week that Martin McAdam and McAdam Food Products Limited have issued defamation proceedings against the group.

“ABP has every intention of fighting this claim,” said a spokesperson for the company.

Mr Mc Adam said notice of High Court proceedings has been served on ABP, which has since sold its Silvercrest facility in Co Monaghan - where horsemeat was detected in frozen burgers - to the Kepak Group.

McAdam Food company maintains that central to the case is a press release issued by ABP Group in February which stated that Silvercrest had purchased beef products from McAdams Food Service - about 170 tonnes out of total beef purchases in 2012 of 18,000 tonnes - in good faith, but that horse DNA originating in Poland was present in some of these products.

"The statement issued by ABP Food Group was widely distributed and reported in the Irish and international media, causing immense damage to the reputation and business of Martin McAdam and McAdam Food Products," said a spokesman for Mr McAdam, from Newbliss in Co Monaghan.

The meat trader said that as the international horsemeat in beef contamination scandal unfolded from February onwards, he consistently stated that he had no awareness or knowledge whatsoever of any possibility of there being equine content in meat products imported and supplied by him to his customers.

Any such products were ordered and paid for by him at beef market prices and imported on the basis of them being understood and documented to be beef, and nothing else, he maintained.

The beef processing industry in Ireland and the UK has since got a clean bill of health following a series of sample tests by European officials for horsemeat contamination.

ABP, owned by beef magnate Larry Goodman, said that the documents the company received did not contain specific information as to the details of the proceedings and the company is awaiting this information from McAdam Food Products.

ABP maintains that there is no basis for the claim nor that it has damaged Mr McAdam's  reputation or the reputation of McAdam Food Products.

The beef processing industry in Ireland and the UK has since got a clean bill of health following a series of sample tests by European officials for horsemeat contamination.

Press Association

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