Government response

Myth bust: The Financial Times claims that horse DNA at levels of less than 1% will not be considered a problem

Results below 1% will still be followed up.

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


The Myth: The Financial Times reports that horse DNA at levels of less than 1% “will not be considered a problem” by Defra and the Food Standards Agency.

The Truth: The suggestion that the Food Standards Agency (FSA) wouldn’t do anything about test results showing below 1% contamination is absolute nonsense.

The fact is that the FSA have advised that 1% is a level where they can be confident the test results could be used as evidence. Results below 1% will still be followed up.

This is a temporary level. We have commissioned urgent scientific work to set the most appropriate permanent threshold for action.

In the meantime, this level will be used as the threshold for the industry to report their own positive test results to the FSA individually. Lower-level test results will still need to be reported, though not individually.

Published 14 February 2013