Coveney promises to expose any fraud in horse meat controversy
The spokesman for Rangeland said none of this product has entered the food chain and 90 per cent of Rangeland’s beef usage was of Irish origin.
Polish authorities said preliminary tests had found no equine material in five of the six facilities flagged by the Irish authorities. Jaroslaw Naze, deputy chief of Poland’s veterinary inspectorate, said Polish companies supplying the Irish meat processing industry were “ready to send their meat samples to be examined in Ireland”.
The ABP Food Group, owned by Larry Goodman, has lost contracts worth an estimated €45 million with Tesco, Aldi, the Co-Operative Group and Burger King over the matter.
The source of the equine DNA, in another case as high as 29 per cent in a burger, has been traced to a factory in Poland. ABP’s plant, Silvercrest, also in Co Monaghan, was found to have been supplying contaminated products.
The committee will decide tomorrow whether ABP should be called in to explain its part in the saga.
Farm organisations have reacted angrily to the news that a second meat processor has been drawn into the horse meat controversy. IFA president John Bryan said this was further evidence that only Irish raw material must be used in the manufacture of Irish beef burgers.
Mr Bryan said today it was "completely unacceptable" to farmers that somebody had "taken a shortcut" and bought product from someone they shouldn't, then "stuck it in a box and labelled it as Irish". Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Pat Kenny programme, he said the need for Silvercrest or Rangeland to be using such product "just doesn't add up".
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."
Additional reporting: PA