In Europe, there is an adulteration with beef being sold at markets and in restaurants. Packages labelled beef were actually filled with horse meat as well as pork. The scam has spread to Britain and Ireland and has been contained in those two countries, but the United Kingdom’s control over food safety is still being questioned. People in the United States see the issue as a gateway to discuss the controversy of labeling modified food.
Although the adulteration started in 2012, the incident did not come to light until January 15, 2013 through the conduction of a DNA test by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine, a department from the government of Ireland, which confirmed that frozen beef patties were made of horse. Upon further investigation of other beef products, it was confirmed that horse meat was released throughout Ireland and Britain. The parent companies responsible for this incident are ABP Food Group, Liffey Meats, and Comigel. Burger King and other companies cancelled distribution from factories and chose new distributors. Eating horse meat is not expected to cause health issues but is considered taboo in both countries. There is a concern, however, regarding drugs that the horses ate entering the human digestive system such as Phenylbutazone. In high quantities, this drug causes therapeutic side effects in people. The incident has resulted in negative interactions with religious groups; Muslims and Jews consider it sinful to eat pork and Jews have religious prohibitions against eating horse.
“People should know what is in their food,” said an anonymous student. “It is incidences like this that bring up issues with labeling genetically modified foods.”
Hopefully, the issue will be resolved quickly and the United Kingdom government will be able to better control food labeling and distribution.