Lifestyle & Belief

Horse DNA is in 5 percent of European beef, tests show


A sample of a meat product is seen in a laboratory to be DNA-tested on February 19, 2013 in Berlin. Horsemeat in 'beef' dishes has now been confirmed in products found in Britain, Ireland, France, Austria, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Belgium.


Johannes Eisele

Government tests have found yet more horse meat, and worse, horse drugs, in European beef. The European Commission randomly tested 4,144 beef products and found horse DNA in 193 of those samples, or about 5 percent.

And of those 193 tainted samples, the horse drug bute was found in 5 percent. Despite this, the EU says that the problem with horse meat is "a matter of food fraud and not of food safety,"  BBC News reported

More from GlobalPost: Horse DNA found in Nestle beef products

Other officials also downplayed health concerns, instead framing it as a right-to-know issue. “Consumers have a right to expect that food is exactly what it says on the label," UK Food Minister David Heath  said in a statement

If you plan on visiting France soon, stick to the croissants, because the country has found more cases of illegal horse in beef products than any other European country,  Reuters reported. While results from the France tests aren't official yet, sources told Reuters that in France, more than 13 percent of beef samples tested positive for horse DNA. 

"In terms of image it's not good. It risks delaying our attempt to regain consumer confidence to get out of the crisis, because it is not over yet," Jean-Rene Buisson, chairman of the French food industry group ANIA, told Reuters.