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Brussels calls for DNA tests, EU police in horsemeat crisis

The EU's executive called in Europe's law enforcers and urged bloc-wide DNA food testing on Wednesday to restore consumer confidence in a widening scandal over horsemeat-tainted processed food. "We do not know exactly what has gone wrong," British food and environment minister Owen Paterson told reporters after emergency talks in Brussels and amid growing public anger over mislabelled meat products. As he prepared to drive to the headquarters of the Europol law enforcement agency in The Hague, he warned: "We have to get to the bottom of these cases."

Drug find stokes health fears in Europe horsemeat crisis

Europe's scandal over horsemeat-tainted food spiralled Thursday after Britain announced the discovery of a potentially harmful drug in horsemeat sent to France, and Germany became the latest country to be drawn in. British Agriculture Minister David Heath said horse carcasses that tested positive for an equine drug that is potentially harmful to humans were sent from Britain to France and may have entered the food chain there.

Drug found in British horsemeat sent to France

An equine drug that can harm humans has been found in horse carcasses exported from Britain to France and may have entered the human food chain, British agriculture minister David Heath said Thursday. But the drug phenylbutazone was not found in tests on products made by Findus, the frozen food giant embroiled in a Europe-wide horsemeat scandal, Heath told parliament. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) tested the carcasses of 206 horses slaughtered in Britain for traces of the painkiller, also known as "bute", which in rare cases can cause a serious blood disorder in humans.

Spanghero in spotlight over horsemeat bill

French company Spanghero was billed for 42 tonnes of low grade horsemeat, a newspaper reported Thursday in a revelation that casts doubt on the French company's claim to have never knowingly bought or sold the product at the centre of a Europe-wide food fraud scandal. Le Parisien newspaper published a bill dated January 4 that was made out to Spanghero and printed on the headed paper of Draap Trading, the Dutch-run, Cyprus-based intermediary which sourced meat in Romania for Spanghero.

France bans firm that sold '750 tonnes' of horsemeat as beef

The French government on Thursday said the French firm Spanghero knowingly sold around 750 tonnes of horsemeat as beef and that it was suspending the licence that allowed it to handle meat. Consumer Affairs Minister Benoit Hamon said the "fraud" had gone on for months and that 550 tonnes of the falsely labelled meat were sent to French firm Comigel, which makes frozen food at its Tavola factory in Luxembourg. Hamon said Spanghero would be prosecuted.

German retailers asked to recall products on horsemeat suspicion

COPENHAGEN/DUESSELDORF, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Danish food producer Tulip said it had asked several German retailers to recall two ready-made pasta products on suspicion they contain horsemeat. Tulip buys the products - Lasagne Bolognese and Cannelloni Bolognese - from French supplier Comigel, which is at the heart of a scandal over horsemeat sold as beef. The scandal erupted when tests carried out in Ireland revealed that meat in products labelled as beef was in fact up to 100 percent horsemeat.

British horsemeat sent to France contained bute - UK FSA

LONDON, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) said six horses slaughtered in the UK that tested positive for the drug phenylbutazone were exported to France and may have entered the human food chain. Phenylbutazone, commonly known as bute, is an anti-inflammatory painkiller for sporting horses but banned for animals intended for eventual human consumption as it is potentially harmful.

EU ministers tackle horsemeat scandal at crisis talks

EU ministers held crisis talks Wednesday to seek a rapid regional response to a scandal over mislabelled frozen meat products that is widening across Europe by the day. The snap talks, starting at 1700 GMT, came a day after British police searching for the source of horsemeat found in kebabs and burgers raided two meat plants, and France became the second European Union nation after Britain to report horsemeat posing as beef in frozen food.

Germany announces first suspicious case in horsemeat scandal

German officials said Wednesday they suspected food may have been delivered to the country mislabelled as beef when it contained horsemeat, amid a widening scandal in Europe. German authorities received on Tuesday evening a warning about "possibly mislabelled products containing horsemeat" via a European alert system, the food, agriculture and consumer protection ministry said in a statement. "There is a suspicion that mislabelled products were also delivered to Germany," the ministry said.

EU ministers tackle horsemeat scandal at crisis talks

EU farm ministers will look at tightening rules on frozen foods at crisis talks called Wednesday in Brussels as a scandal over mislabelled frozen meat products widens across Europe. As Germany reported a first possible case -- lasagne bought from a Luxembourg distributor suspected of selling horsemeat marked as beef -- the European Union's health commissioner said the talks from 1700 GMT would enable ministers in affected nations to exchange information and discuss how to tighten labelling rules.
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