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Published On: Sun, Feb 10th, 2013

UK horsemeat scandal is probably due to ‘criminal substitution’ according to Environment Secretary

In a follow-up to a story concerning recalls and investigations into horsemeat substitution in several products sold in the United Kingdom, questions of criminal activity have always been considered.

England, Wales

Image/CIA

According to a Bloomberg News report today, Secretary for the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) , Owen Paterson said that “criminal substitution” was probably to blame for horse meat discovered in packaged meals meant to contain beef.

Paterson told BBC News, “It looks as if there has been criminal substitution of beef with horse. There may be further bad news this week. I do not know how far this incompetence or criminal activity extends.”

In an official DEFRA statement Saturday, Paterson said, “Investigations into how these products came to be on British shelves are underway. I am determined that we get to the bottom of this and that any wrongdoing discovered is punished.”

In an Observer report Saturday, contacts with the news source say the scandal appeared to be the result of fraud that had an “international dimension”, pointing to criminal syndicates from other European countries.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said Saturday that there is currently no police investigation. However, the FSA and police are working closely and the police will be involved if the evidence suggests a level of criminality within the UK that the police should deal with.

They say they are also working with French authorities and that Europol is aware of the investigation.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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