Questioned on concerns about horsemeat found in beef products in the UK, the PMS said that, despite the incidents being distasteful, the Food Standards Agency had said that there is nothing to suggest any health risk from these products. As the responsible authority, the Food Standards Agency was urgently investigating the issue and was working with the police and international bodies. Defra and the Environment Secretary were also working with the FSA, and the PM was being kept informed.
The FSA had ordered the UK food industry to test all beef products by the 15th February. It was the retailer’s responsibility to ensure their labelling was accurate. When asked about advice to the public, the PMS said that the public should follow the FSA’s and retailer’s advice. The PMS underlined the point that the incidents appeared to be acts of criminality, while reassuring people there was no evidence of there being any health risk. Asked about the scale of the issue, the PMS said that the incidents had only come to light in the last few days. Labelling laws had been in place for some years and there were investigations ongoing.