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Buy British urges Uttoxeter’s MP

Monday 11th February 2013 (Andrew Griffiths)

AN MP has called on shoppers to ‘buy British’ in the wake of the horse meat scandal.

Andrew Griffiths, who represents Uttoxeter in Parliament, said foreign produce could no longer be trusted in the same way.

His comments came as it was revealed some household food brands on sale in British supermarkets — marketed as beef-based — actually contained up to 100 per cent horse meat.

Mr Griffiths said: “There are two important issues.

“Firstly, we need to look at the animal welfare aspect to ensure horses are not being exported inhumanely to foreign countries for slaughter or mistreatment in any way.

“Secondly, we need to ensure slaughtered horse meat does not get back into the food chain in the UK.”

Further concerns have been raised that horse meat on sale in Britain may contain traces of bute, a painkiller given to the animals before they were killed.

Mr Griffiths has written to the agriculture minister asking ‘whether he has made an assessment of the way in which the current horse registration system deals with potential food safety issues’.

Mr Griffiths said animal welfare charity Blue Cross did not believe any abattoirs in the UK were slaughtering horses.

However, he added it is suspected many of the animals are transported from Britain to Ireland, Belgium and France to be killed for meat.

The Tory said: “There has been a huge amount of worry among people about what exactly they are eating.

“But the only way of guaranteeing what is in your food is by buying British beef from your local butcher or by buying ready meals that are produced in the UK and contain meat from UK-reared animals.”

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ordered suppliers to test all their products to ensure the flow of horse meat onto British shelves is stopped.

Major supermarkets have removed certain brands after tests showed they contained horse meat, not beef.

The FSA has described the situation as ‘completely unacceptable’ and warned that criminal prosecutions cannot be ruled out.

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