Brazil claims to have found over 10 tonnes of horse meat

By Claudio Gomes BBC News, Sao Paulo Believed to be between eight and 10 tonnes, samples have tested positive in at least five Brazilian states The head of the Brazilian criminal investigative agency (AGC)…

Brazil claims to have found over 10 tonnes of horse meat

By Claudio Gomes

BBC News, Sao Paulo

Believed to be between eight and 10 tonnes, samples have tested positive in at least five Brazilian states The head of the Brazilian criminal investigative agency (AGC) claims to have found over 10 tonnes of horse meat sold as beef in recent months in the country. The International Centre for Science and Development (Icid) reported in January that food samples taken from supermarkets in ten Brazilian states from late 2018 contained genetically modified substances. The AGC says it has now found evidence that criminals disguised the beef in which they sold the horse meat as beef. I’m told that this was done in collaboration with two meat brokerages, Facundo Constant and Kiss Trading, and some supermarket chains. The AGC says the horse meat seized contained the substance butcalcane, growth hormone which is being used to increase the weight of cattle but which is prohibited for human consumption. Officials told the BBC the horse meat had been sold by traders who identified them as beef using the language used by consumers. “The buyers, who are all local businessmen, who know how to acquire the language and culture of eating horse,” explained one state prosecutor. The AGC’s report says the “99.9% [of] consumers” that received this beef had little or no idea that it was horse meat. The report concludes that the horse meat imported from the EU appeared to be labelled as beef. A public relations consultant, Sebastian Barbosa, has seen the AGC’s report. He said the cases appeared to be linked. “All the supermarkets in the target group were contacted but only one of them responded to us. It was a big one,” he told the BBC. In a statement, a top Brazilian wholesaler said it had been in regular contact with the AGC. It said it had dealt only with grass-fed animal meat products.

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