Ó Cuív calls for meat investigation

Tue, Feb 5, 2013, 00:00

Fianna Fáil spokesman on food Éamon Ó Cuív has called for an independent investigation into the ongoing horse meat controversy.

“Somebody should be appointed by the Oireachtas to investigate the whole background to this particular issue and to find out what the source of the contamination is but also to examine the whole issue of horse meat in Ireland and how it’s handled,” Mr Ó Cuiv said this morning.

He added that any such investigation should not hinder garda enquiries into the matter. “I think it would be very important that we would know where the gardaí have been called in, what investigations they’re carrying out” and whether the fraud squad has been called in.

“Obviously to misrepresent a product would be potential fraud so it’s very very important that anything that would be done by the Oireachtas…would not in any way interfere with an Garda Síochana in their work and we’d have to be advised by them in that regard.”

He said he believed the Polish authorities “will be very anxious to give evidence”. Irish meat processors have claimed the contaminated meat came from Polish imports

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney is due to appear before an Oireachtas Committee this afternoon to speak on the matter. Mr Ó Cuív criticised Mr Coveney’s handling of the controversy, saying he failed to provide enough information.

“What we’ve had is a situation where the Minister has issued statements at the oddest of hours, there’ve been no press conferences, there’ve been no expert groups set up, we haven’t had press conferences with the experts answering detailed questions to the media.

“There have been contradictory statements and it’s very important now to get clarity in this issue because the longer it goes on the more damage it will do.”