Monday 21 April 2014

Coveney insists his officials working all hours to establish source of horse meat

AGRICULTURE Minister Simon Coveney says his department won’t be releasing any more test results on beef products, until they have been verified.

In the wake of the loss of the Burger King contract from one of the plants at the centre of the horse meat affair, Mr Coveney defended the delays in the testing process.

He said his officials are working 16-hour days to get to investigate the issue of the source of the horse meat.

“I've put them under huge pressure because there is a real need to get this issue over with as soon as possible so that we can get back to rebuilding the reputation of a fantastic food industry,” he said on RTE’s Today with Pat Kenny.

But the Irish Farmers' Association has criticised the handling of the controversy by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.

IFA president John Bryan said the FSAI’s initial statement on the controversy was misleading as the traces of horse DNA found in all but one of the burgers tests was negligible.

"The initial statement from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland was misleading, it highlighted trace elements that nowhere else in Ireland would have been mentioned and even mentioned there might be a problem with some religious minorities with this.

“So they were exceptionally broad in the statement, without proper facts.”

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