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Bute in horsemeat: statement from Chief Medical Officer

Regarding bute in horsemeat, Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies has made a statement. “Horsemeat containing phenylbutazone presents a very…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

She said:

“Horsemeat containing phenylbutazone presents a very low risk to human health.

_“Phenylbutazone, known as bute, is a commonly used medicine in horses. It is also prescribed to some patients who are suffering from a severe form of arthritis. _

“At the levels of bute that have been found, a person would have to eat 500 to 600 burgers a day that are 100% horse meat to get close to consuming a human’s daily dose. And it passes through the system fairly quickly, so it is unlikely to build up in our bodies.

“In patients who have been taking** **phenylbutazone as a medicine there can be serious side effects but these are rare. It is extremely unlikely that anyone who has eaten horse meat containing bute will experience one of these side effects.”

Published 14 February 2013