Local TD, Denis Naughten has said that major international supermarkets who are driving down food prices must take some responsibility for the controversy surrounding the inclusion of equine meat in beef burgers.
Speaking in the Dáil on the issue Denis Naughten said that supermarkets must take some responsibility for this issue and stand over what they sell, especially at the lower end of the market:
“It is not acceptable to be selling products as beef burgers, when real beef does not make up at least half the product. To pass it off as such undermines the whole of the food industry and consumer confidence.”
He also pointed out that “Irish cattle are the most traceable in the world. Right from birth, via the Suckler cow welfare scheme, through to the large volume of documentation available at slaughter”.
“But tractability is only as good as its weakest link, and traditionally this has been with processed food products, rather that beef carcass & cuts which makes up the vast majority of Irish beef exports”.
Denis Naughten also stated that not only must the source of the contamination be identified but also that those who caused this problem “must pay dearly for undermining the integrity of the food chain”.