Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Poland calls for horsemeat evidence

Poland says it has found no evidence that it is the source of horsemeat that ended up in Irish and British burgers

A top Polish veterinary inspector says investigations have still not uncovered any evidence backing Irish claims that Poland was the source of horsemeat that ended up in Irish and British burgers.

Jaroslaw Naze, deputy head of Poland's General Veterinary Inspectorate, insisted today that Ireland hand over more documentary evidence, including of labels on the suspected meet supplies, so that Polish officials can complete their own investigation.

Tensions have emerged in recent days between the two countries, both major meat producers whose industries could be damaged by the horseburger scandal.

Irish government officials and an Irish meat company have blamed the contamination of beef patties with horsemeat on meat imported from Poland.

The issue has barely registered in the Polish media, and Mr Naze, the official in charge of the investigation, has repeatedly cast doubt on the accusations.

He said today he can only complete the Polish investigation "when I will have all documents from Ireland."

To date, Poland has carried out DNA testing at a national laboratory in Pulawy, in the south-east of the country, on 14 meat samples taken from a cold storage unit. He described the laboratory as one of the biggest and most modern in Europe.

"What we have today is that there are no signs that the horsemeat was in Polish beef," he said. "My investigation shows that the beef was beef."

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