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Donkey, buffalo, even human DNA taint most South African meat

A study by South African scientists said that a shocking amount of the country's ground beef and sausages contain various other animals.
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While Europeans worry about whether their ground beef comes from a horse, South Africans now must worry if theirs comes from a donkey, a water buffalo or a goat. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DURBAN, South Africa — Donkey, water buffalo and goat are just some of the animals found in mislabeled beef in South Africa.

A study by South Africa's University of Stellenbosch said that a shocking amount of the country's ground beef and sausages contain various other animals.

Perhaps the most horrifying revelation for consumers is that the analysis reportedly picked up human DNA on samples tested, although it's unclear what the result means.

The researchers at Stellenbosch University found that 68 percent of 139 samples contained other animals not declared in the ingredients.

Burgers and deli meats were the worst offenders.

"This study confirms that the mislabeling of processed meats is commonplace in South Africa and not only violates food labeling regulations but also poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts," co-author Louwrens C. Hoffman said.

The analysis found that only 15 percent of meat being sold is correctly labelled.

The news shocked South African consumers and worried religious communities that follow rules prohibiting the consumption of certain types of meat.

South Africa implemented stricter food regulations last year that instituted mandatory labeling.

"We are picking up the feeling that the industry is not acting on the new legislation," Hoffman said.

The study was published in the European journal Food Control.

Chris Tazz More than 1 year ago
Well, I never eat mixed meat. I only buy at our butcher 1km down the road. No processed meat, we all know it's filled with *************.
Joshua Ethier More than 1 year ago
Are you kidding me? "human DNA, but they don't know what that actually means" what the hell?
Marxist Socialist Liberal More than 1 year ago
It means be a vegetarian in South Africa.
Stephen Villano More than 1 year ago
These discoveries in Europe and South Africa rather disprove Libertarian theories that companies can be trusted to be honest and distribute products as labeled.
Christopher Kosel More than 1 year ago
You misrepresent the the Libertarian position. Get the facts before you make a statement that is ultimately indefensible.