DNA testing: no horsemeat in Belgium

Less than five percent of all European controls on food products have revealed traces of the presence of horsemeat. The presence of tranquilizers was also part of this overall control. No traces were found in Belgium. (Source: Belga press agency).

Over the last couple of weeks, controls took place in all European member states. Not only horsemeat was focused on, but also the presence of Phenylbutazone, an anti-inflammatory drug. The results for our country were encouraging. After all the bad news of the last weeks and months, the Belgian meat sector's reaction is one of relief.

The presence of horsemeat in prepared meals created quite a fuss and lead to a vast control operation throughout the European Union. No less than 4,144 tests were made and only 192 showed positive. The meat sector too took part in the operation: here, only 1.38 % of the 8,000 tests executed were found to be positive.

Food safety not threatened

It was the European Commission itself that took the initiative for these controls and therefore also financed them.The horsemeat scandal did actually lead to the detection of a fraude system, but food safety was never and in no way threatened. In Belgium, samples were taken from meat sold through both wholesale and retail trade (supermarkets and smaller shops). No traces of horsemeat were found. France came out very badly with a result of 13,3% of positive tests.

Only few horses are slaughtered at Abattoir's slaughterhouse, some 20 animals each month.