Minister green lights ‘Irish Beef’ label just as southern beef farmers lunge into crisis…

Unfortunate timing for the Agriculture Minister’s new labelling ‘concession’ for so-called ‘nomadic beef’. In Michelle O’Neill’s own terms, here’s the ‘problem’… #168316801 / gettyimages.com I am of the strong view that the term ‘nomad cattle’ has no place on this island and following discussions with industry stakeholders and Minister Coveney in the south, I am hopeful that this issue can be resolved. “This has been a problem for some time because cattle imported from the south and slaughtered in the … Read more

EU considers the Horsemeat in the food chain…

From 6.50 in, Tonio BORG, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy gives an account of what the EU has done and is doing on the horsemeat crisis… Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

USPCA: 90% of horses channelled through NI end up as meat..

Valerie Cox just now interviewed a spokesman for the USPCA on Pat Kenny’s show on RTE… He talked an operation which horses were found to be being channelled from the Republic through Northern Ireland and into Scotland. With them horse passports and false microchips. The cheaters kit for passing off common or garden horse as fit for the food chain. Intriguingly the horsemeat seems then to being sent to central Europe. Mick FealtyMick is founding editor of Slugger. He has … Read more

Irish Agriculture Minister: “I am seriously concerned about this development…”

I haven’t been posting on every twist and turn  [Not “an isolated instance“, then? – Ed] of the still unravelling story of the Europe-wide horse meat for beef scandal.  But this looks like it could be a significant development.  From the RTÉ report A processing plant in Co Tipperary has been shut down after inspectors found it was exporting horse meat under a label in the Czech language which translated as beef. B&F Meats, a small-scale deboning factory in Carrick-on-Suir was selling a … Read more

#Horsemeat? What crisis? Ah, that crisis? (Don’t mention the election) It was the FSA wot done it.

Okay, so there’s a Westminster by election in your Mid Ulster constitutuency. There’s also a crisis in Northern Irish Agriculture that you said you had no reason to believe existed just two weeks ago. And you’re the Agriculture Minister. Damnit! So you call a cross department presser in the middle of your constituency in the middle of the crisis that you felt did not exist two weeks ago and then point out the fact that the others would not make … Read more

Is there an unregulated trade in horsemeat in Northern Ireland?

Now, here’s a thing. Mary Creagh has set some ferocious cats amongst the local pigeons [You do mean harses don’t ya? – Ed]. She alone of politicians with any local interest, has been listening to the concerns of the USPCA: “The Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have clear evidence of an illegal trade of unfit horses from Ireland to the UK for meat, with horses being re-passported to meet demands for horse meat in mainland Europe. “It says that … Read more

Irish Agriculture Minister: “Somebody is selling rogue product and somebody knows about it and is responsible.”

Still early days in the investigation into the discovery of more beef horse meat at a number of meat processing plants – and note Mick’s update here.  However, the cause of the trace amounts of pork DNA and equine DNA in some ‘beef’ products is still likely to be different. But there are a few quotes worth highlighting, starting with this one in a Guardian report which also notes that in Poland, “government veterinary inspectors say they have so far been unable … Read more

Simon Coveney breaks the news of horse meat found in Newry plant…

Last night, Simon Coveney was on Prime Time (4 minutes in) with Miriam O’Callaghan. Coveney is Agriculture Minister for the Republic but he is also chair of all the agriculture ministers across Europe just now by dint of Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union. He’s clearly in a very hot seat just now, and accordingly gave an account of an investigation that has narrowed the problem down to just two producers. Indeed, it was Coveney (and not the northern Agriculture … Read more

“The causes of these two problems are therefore likely to be different…”

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland is conducting further tests at two Irish meat processing factories following the recent identification of pig and horse DNA in a range of beef-based products.  The UK’s Food Standards Agency is also investigating further.  And there’s been a statement from the Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister, Sinn Féin’s Michelle O’Neill. Commenting on the Food Safety Authority of Ireland findings of horse DNA which been found in a range of meat products, Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said: “I support … Read more

“In Ireland, it is not in our culture to eat horsemeat and therefore, we do not expect to find it in a burger…”

So, what did you have for dinner…  The BBC reports the headline findings of the snapshot survey by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland of some beef-based products on sale in Ireland.  From the BBC report Horse DNA has been found in some beef burgers being sold in UK and Irish supermarkets, the Republic of Ireland’s food safety authority (FSAI) has said. The FSAI said the meat came from two processing plants in Ireland, Liffey Meats and Silvercrest Foods, and … Read more