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Paterson sets out horsemeat plans

Paterson sets out horsemeat plans
Owen Paterson has set out his plans for tackling the horsemeat scandal.

Updating MPs on the issue, the Environment Secretary said he wanted food retailers to publish their tests on products every three months through the Food Standards Agency.

"Once we have established the full facts of the current incidents and identified where enforcement action can be taken, we will want to look at the lessons to be learned from this episode," he said.

As Mr Paterson came under fire from MPs for his slow handling of the issue, Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh said the lack of information from the Government had been “nothing short of a disgrace”.

His statement came amid the revelation that Tesco Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese contains 60% horsemeat.

The scandal has raised fresh questions about food supply chains across Europe.

French agriculture and food ministers held crisis talks today as the Romanian government investigated if horsemeat was mislabelled at their abattoirs.

Mr Paterson yesterday suggested the Government would "take the necessary action" and introduce a ban on importing EU beef if a health risk was identified.

But the Prime Minister's Official Spokesman insisted today: "There is no evidence of a risk to human health."

The Environment Secretary also said this morning that there was no evidence the meat poses a risk to the public.

“All the evidence of the products so far is that they are safe but they are not as labelled. So this is a case of fraud and mislabelling," Mr Paterson told BBC News.

"There is nothing we have seen so far which represents a health threat, but there will be rigorous testing going on through the week."

Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies said today that there was a "very low risk indeed" of harm to health as a result of horsemeat entering the UK food chain.

Green Box: Paterson sets out horsemeat plansClick to open

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