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Veterinary drugs found in Asda beef product supply chain

Posting in Food

Perhaps we should all take the hint and stop buying budget meat.

There's nothing wrong with eating horse. In fact, it's quite tasty. However, when you buy a product and the words "horse" or "painkiller" are not mentioned on the packaging, you're not getting what you paid for.

Or, perhaps, you are. The old phrase "you get what you pay for" comes to mind, because even if companies are not aware of the cost-cutting meat substitutes entering their supply chains, there's only so much you can grouse and grumble when you purchase dirt-cheap, supermarket meat -- the rising price of beef, chicken and lamb notwithstanding.

However, finding drugs in your food is a step further than a change in the type of protein. Supermarket chain Asda has recently come to the forefront in light of the horsemeat scandal, the U.K.'s Food Standards Agency finding "very low levels" of the veterinary drug phenylbutazone in budget corned beef.

Commonly known as bute, the drug is a painkiller which is administered to horses. Any animal that is treated with bute is exiled from the supply chain, as the drug has the potential to impact human health.

See also: Laser technology can ID any meat type -- horse or otherwise

As part of an industry-wide food test project on meat products, the corned beef was also found to contain horse meat DNA above one percent. As a precautionary measure, Asda has removed other products made in the same factory as the contaminated meat, and withdrawn it from the store's shelves.

Asda said in a statement:

"We have taken an extremely cautious approach since the very beginning and have carried out more than 700 tests, moving swiftly to remove any products from our shelves whenever we've had the smallest concerns."

Via: BBC

Image credit: Flickr

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— By on April 10, 2013, 12:00 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure