Media 27: Have newspapers been asked to play down the dangers of phenylbutazone in horsemeat by politicians and corporates?
Are they bowing to the food industry/advertisers – in particular those concerned with imports and exports?
The Telegraph plays it down:
It quotes an anodyne response from Mr Hargreaves from the British Veterinary Association: “Lots of horses are treated with it, it is never supposed to get into the human food chain . . . If tests do detect traces of the drug in horse meat, the risk to consumers would be very, very small, because the painkiller has also been used to treat humans”.
Really? That is not consistent with the views expressed by the VMD and USFDA.
The Guardian yesterday said that animals treated with bute are not allowed to enter the food chain because of the risk of aplastic anaemia; in theory of course they are not allowed – but they do! It did better with its video, where Mr Hargreaves now discusses the dangers (no longer the small risk) of consuming horsemeat treated with phenylbutazone, following the news that Findus beef lasagne ready meals may have been contaminated.
The Mail says: “There is also concern that the horse meat has not been tested for the presence of veterinary drug phenylbutazone”.
But the Financial Times, in a chronology, apparently differs: “Dec 19 – Tests for phenylbutazone, a commonly used medicine in horses that is banned from the food chain, show it is not present, leading the Irish authority to conclude there is no risk to human health”.
The Independent is less non-committal and adds further information:
“The FSA – set up in the wake of the BSE crisis – kept secret test results showing the banned drug ‘bute’ in meat from horses slaughtered in the UK last year until after a whistleblower had leaked them to a politician . . .
“But it has not been alone. Tesco and Aldi quietly swept their own-brand Comigel products from the shelves earlier this week rather than immediately informing the public – some of whom may have pulled those meals out of their home freezers and eaten them.
“Typically statements have been released late at night. Aldi’s confirmation that ‘beef’ in its lasagnes and spaghetti Bolognese was in some cases wholly horse was put out at 6.30pm last night”.
It adds that the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson made a brief appearance on a rolling news channel last night, having been “mysteriously absent from the airwaves during one of the biggest crises in British food for years”.
EU officials and scientific journals have been more open:
EU officials warned last year about serious problems in verifying the drug-free status of horses. Research published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010 highlighted this risk from horses sent from America to be killed in Mexico and Canada, after US slaughterhouses were found to be breaking the law and closed in 2007.
Posted on February 9, 2013, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Government, Media, Secret State, Vested interests and tagged EU officials, Food and Chemical Toxicology, Horsemeat, Phenylbutazone. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.