URGENT ¥¥¥ France says drug-tainted horsemeat has likely entered food chain

Several horse carcasses containing the drug Phenylbutazone have probably ended up in the human food chain, France's agriculture ministry said Saturday.

Phenylbutazone is an anti-inflammatory treatment for horses which is potentially harmful to humans and by law is supposed to be kept out of the food chain.

A spokesman said the ministry was alerted by British authorities that six tainted carcasses had been exported to France in January, but that the meat had already been processed.

The official told AFP that some of the meat had been recalled but that the equivalent of three carcasses had "probably" been eaten. There was only a "minor" health risk, he said.