The findings of the Irish investigation into the source of equine DNA in beef burgers produced in Ireland has revealed significant failings in European food safety and transparency standards.

Ireland East MEP and Member of the European Parliament Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, Liam Aylward, has called on the European Commission to urgently address the failures that the Irish authorities have identified and demanded answers regarding this serious case of food fraud.

“Only for the vigilance and exceptionally high standards of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland, this act of food fraud and breach of regulations would not have been detected.

“I have submitted a formal request for a response from the European Commission as to what immediate measures will be taken to address this significant breach of food safety and transparency standards? What action is to be taken to ensure this fraudulent situation is not repeated and what action is to be taken to rebuild consumer confidence and trust?

“I have also called on the European Commission to investigate the feasibility of increasing the legal requirements for testing regimes used across the EU and to introduce widespread DNA testing.

“Consumer confidence has been rightly shaken by the recent events and the locating of the source of the problem at an EU-accredited supplier of meat products raises many questions about the effectiveness of European food safety and traceability systems. The Commission have a case to answer here.”