Fianna Fáil has called for an independent investigation into the horse meat controversy following the latest ‘disturbing’ revelations over the past 24 hours.
The party’s Agriculture Spokesperson Éamon Ó Cuív has expressed serious concern about a lack of leadership from the Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney, following revelations this week of further findings of equine DNA in products used by two manufacturers in Monaghan and Newry.
“The very last thing this industry needs is further confusion about what is going on. Unfortunately the latest statement from Minister Coveney about further findings of equine DNA has added to an extremely confusing and worrying situation.
“This controversy has rumbled on for almost 3 months now but we seem to be further than ever from the root cause. The Minister does not appear to be on top of this situation at all, and the longer it drags on, the harder it will be to restore confidence in what has been a world class beef manufacturing and food processing industry in this country
“It is very clear that what we need now is an independent investigation. The Minister has failed to show the proper leadership required to deal with this controversy. The drip-feed of conflicting information is playing havoc with the sector and it cannot continue. We need a strong, focussed and coherent approach to get to the bottom of this without further delay so we can end this controversy once and for all and restore confidence in the sector.
“Our international reputation is being jeopardised and we need to reassure customers that Ireland is dealing with this in the strongest possible way.”