Coveney calls EU crisis talks on horsemeat scandal

Cormac Murphy

IRELAND has called an emergency meeting of EU ministers from the six countries affected by the horsemeat scandal.

It follows a move by Tesco to drop a major supplier after discovering a range of spaghetti bolognese ready-meals contained more than 60pc horse meat.

As the crisis deepened, Ireland – which holds the EU presidency – took the initiative and called a meeting of ministers for tomorrow.

Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney insists he wants the discussions to focus on what steps are to be taken at EU level "to comprehensively address this matter".

The high-level meeting will be headed by EU health commissioner Tonio Borg.


Companies from Cyprus, Romania, France and the Netherlands have been linked to the controversy.

Lasagne frozen dinners and burgers suspected of containing horse meat have been removed from supermarket shelves in Ireland, Britain, Sweden and France.

In an effort to improve oversight, Irish meat processors will be requested to undertake DNA testing on their products.

They will also be asked to work alongside the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in developing a testing system.

Mr Coveney said the new regime would involve co-operation between companies and the FSAI to develop protocols, adding that it was now a pan-European problem.