Horse Meat Found in US Food Chain


Recognizing the dangers of horse meat to our food supply and foreign consumers, the USDA, with unprecedented action, has included language in the FY 14 budget that defunds horse inspections. The below language is on page 197 of the Department of Agriculture Appendix.

SEC. 725. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used to pay the salaries or expenses of personnel to-(1) inspect horses under section 3 of the Federal Meat Inspection Act (21 U.S.C. 603); (2) inspect horses under section 903 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (7 U.S.C. 1901 note; Public Law 104127); or (3) implement or enforce section 352.19 of title 9, Code of Federal Regulations.

Congressional Letter to President Obama [May 15, 2013]


The following information is fact based sourceable documentation that has been compiled from a number of resources including government sites [in and out of country], medical journals, European Union FVO reports, white papers and veterinary publications.
                        
Editorials and Investigations relating to horses and food safety can be found on the Horse Slaughter page and Press Release page on this site. Slides discussing food safety are available on the Presentations page.

Please visit our Facebook page for the most up-to-date news

The following links are published papers and studies on phenylbutazone [bute], a commonly used medication for horses that is banned in all food animals. The below documentation details the dangers of horse meat containing bute.

Food and Chemical Toxicology Drug Paper 


We would be remiss in not including the below letter submitted late in 2010 that unsuccessfully attempted to discredit this paper. 

This is the letter along with Dr. Marini's response. Dr. Marini's response was accepted by the journal as validation of the paper, thus dismissing the attempt to discredit the paper. Had there been any validity to the letter, the original paper would have been corrected.
  
Ireland Veterinary White Paper on Phenylbutazone


Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Horse Slaughter Health Requirements 
   Note: prohibited medications are listed in this document

University of Delaware | Horse Meat Food Safety Concerns


An Investigation into the availability of horse meat in Belgium, France and the Netherlands

67% of the horse meat exported to the European Union [EU] from Canada is from US horses. It is estimated that between Canada and Mexico, US horses represent over 80% of the exported horse meat to the EU. The exports to the EU of US horses represents an insignificant percentage of the EU market.

As a perspective, the exports from Cavel, the last of the three US slaughter plants that closed on September 21 2007, represented less than 1% of Velda's (Belgium parent company) market.   

Source: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

2013 European Union Regulations governing exports to the EU  
          note: all equines will require passports
   
2009 published EU Regulations to allow exporting countries to meet full compliance by 2013. 

Please note that page 3, 3rd paragraph states all wild equidae meat is prohibited except zebra meat.                 
                   
Testing Protocol | USDA - FSIS Confirmation of Phenylbutazone


The following articles are from investigative reporters and journalists
 
The Globe | Canadian horse meat involved in European meat scandal
Latitude News | The Shady trade in American horse meat
New York Times | Joe Drape: Drugs injected at the Racetrack Put Europe Off 
U.S. Horse Meat
Horse Meat: A Dangerous `Delicacy' (from the print edition of Natural Horse)
      note: this is a large file and may take a while to open
 

Our thanks to Suzanne Moore for her research contributions to this page!

Back to top of page

Horses & Food Safety

The global horse meat scandal is raging after meat labeled as beef was found to contain horse meat in Ireland and the UK. The proven health risks of drugs given to horses as well as fraud are being researched, investigated and evaluated. As of February 15, 2013, three people have been arrested. The number of countries impacted continues to grow. The articles and statements are too numerous to list here as there are literally hundreds and hundreds across the globe.

The countries involved, thus far, are listed below [in alpha order]. The silence is deafening from the US meat industry leading us to believe this scandal is far from over.

It should be noted that the USDA stated that the scandal is not happening in the US because we don't have horse slaughter plants.

A synopsis and list of recalls can be found here.   


  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Scotland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • UK


Major Businesses Impacted:


  • Aldi
  • Birds Eye
  • Burger King
  • Ikea
  • Nestles
  • Taco Bell
  • Wal-Mart 


The following links are EU FVO reports, food safety investigations and a few recent recalls on horse meat containing phenylbutazone. 

Note: the EU FVO reports have a common trend in that banned substances are present in US horses slaughtered in Canada and Mexico and that the health papers accompanying the horses are falsified. The most recent report from Mexico states that health affidavits are not sufficient to meet EU standards.
     
EU FVO Report on Equines Slaughtered in Mexico - 2012
  
European Union FVO reports from late 2010, released in 2011:

Mexico:

 Canada:


This is Canada's response


Proof of CFIA Failure


Recent Recalls