MEAT PROCESSING plants should suspend the use of any imported material in meat products until the horse meat crisis ends.
That's the view of President of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers, Ballintrillick farmer, Gabriel Gilmartin.
He said: "It's significant that the only raw material sample which tested positive was from another member state.
"We need answers why there is any need for imported ingredients in burgers when Ireland is the biggest exporter of beef in the Northern hemisphere."
He also called on processing plants to explain what proportion of their burgers consist of imported product.
"Suspicions are growing among Ireland's beef farmers that the Irish beef content of burgers is being reduced with a view to keeping prices down.
"This concern has arisen because of the explanation that the horse DNA is linked to imported product.
"Are the imports limited to trace ingredients, gelling agents or flavourings? Or are they actually imports of meat making up a substantial portion of the burger?"
"The Minister needs to ensure these facts are clarified in his investigation. "How much of the burger is Irish?" Mr Gilmartin added: "There is growing unease among farmers that the high standards they adhere to and the scrutiny that they are put under is not being matched elsewhere in the food chain."