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EU plans more tests for horsemeat in food

The European Union will carry out a second round of tests to see if horsemeat is being passed off as beef, after a scandal last year rocked public confidence in food safety standards.

BRUSSELS: The European Union (EU) will carry out a second round of tests to see if horsemeat is being passed off as beef, after a scandal last year rocked public confidence in food safety standards.

The European Commission said on Friday that experts had approved more DNA tests after last year's found that 4.6 per cent of examined products contained horsemeat without being labelled as such.

The Commission treated the issue as one of fraud rather than public health, but the scandal attracted huge attention across Europe as it highlighted the extent of industrialisation in food production and how difficult it is to enforce standards.

"Although there have not been any public health implications in connection with this food fraud, there has been a very clear reaction from consumers following this scandal that controls need to be stepped up," the Commission said in a statement.

The 28 EU member states will set their own testing timetable but the Commission said it aims to publish the results in July.

EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg had stated at the time of the first results last year that he would like another set to monitor and help manage the problem.

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